Finding Jesus in the Rubble


Life is difficult and we can all get lost, feel crushed through whatever situation has has come to visit. Jesus warned his followers “in this world we will have trouble but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” John 16:33. So if Jesus knows the path of overcoming then we may want to walk that path out with Him. Jesus mentioned that he would never leave or forsake us but be with until the end of the age so we can reflect on that promise until it becomes a reality.

We can look around at people and presume that we are the only one struggling. It takes vulnerability to speak honestly about what’s going on. Social media seems to be the tool many choose to judge themselves against the latest perfect day, event, photo that virtual friends are uploading. A photo may tell us a great story but it can also mask the inner story /wrestle/struggle – it reveals what we want to. So it’s best not to judge the success of life through that lens. Look for a deeper authentic reality.

I have been looking searching for Jesus lately in various places, books, meetings, people, and have failed to find Him there. I have however noticed Him to be amongst the rubble of my life and there He sits with me speaking wisdom, compassion, healing, restoring words and ways. I have written this for those of you who feel your life has crashed in around you and you are surrounded by nothing but rubble.

Following Jesus is not about being successful it is about building a friendship with Him and listening to what He speaks and doing what you see Him doing. If we can do that a little each day from the platform of rubble rather than what the world deems as success then we can start to find Him and Know Him.

“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10



The cycle of mission and evangelism


I never dreamed that God would take my life and use it do something incredibly good. However, as I read the Bible, I realised that God takes the most unexpected people and does amazing exploits. You don’t have to be the loudest one in the room to be an evangelist or preacher; you just need to see God’s lead and follow it.

I’m often asked, ‘How do we keep going in mission and evangelism?’ I have been-full on in frontline ministry for the last twelve years. There are amazing days and not-so-great days, as I’m sure everyone experiences. It’s really good and helpful, though, that we have a clear foundation for why we do what we do—especially on the less remarkable days.

There are seasons when we hear God’s calling coming to us. I was first awakened to this when I was eight years old, reading comics about missionaries preaching the gospel in distant countries. I remember thinking, ‘That’s what I want to do’. At 18, I was interviewed at a Bible college and was excited to start—but they said, ‘No’! You are not called, nor are you clever enough’.

The shock was immense, and I turned away from God and the church. I was angry and confused for ten years, as I was sure I’d heard God calling me. Ten years later, I recognized Him calling me again. I met a man who took me with a team to Africa and felt like I’d come home. In fact, on that trip, I preached for the first time and remembered those pictures from my comic. I’d started walking in my calling. I loved it. From this experience, I learned that when man shouts ‘no’, God maybe saying ‘yes’.

I eventually found a college that would accept me. Not that everyone needs to go, but I always felt led to study and participate in the community. During that time, I again felt God impress the nations on my heart.

The foundation that keeps me going in mission and evangelism every week is the ‘Go’.  Two scriptures keep me focused on what to do and what to avoid:

Matthew 28:19 – ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.

Acts 26:18 – ‘…to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me’.

God’s word enables me to keep going on the challenging days. I’m reminded that I have a vision and purpose in this world and to stay on track. This is why I was born.

Your calling may be different than mine, but the principle is the same: hear God and explore what he says through scripture. Then do it. Callings rise up and come out as passion toward people and nations. If you sense God’s passion stirring, why not explore it? Hang out with the group you’re passionate about, visit the people you’re drawn toward, do some evangelism and see what God says while you’re there. Don’t sit on opportunities; be active, and watch things open up.

When you hear God calling you, explore what that looks like and how it will emerge. That’s the mission and evangelism cycle.


Spiritual Benefits



The heavenly realms are all around us all of the time.“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Ephesians 1:3. It is the realm where the spiritual activity of God’s Kingdom and the kingdom of darkness happen. The term “blessing” means we have God’s approval placed on our lives when we come into relationship with him. We do this by accepting the work that Jesus did through his death and resurrection and then devoting our lives to his leadership.

God then sees us through the lens and person of Jesus, as we have become what the scripture calls “in Christ” and then spiritual blessings are ours to live in the good of. Spiritual blessing means “God speaks well of us”. When this reality sank into my mind and heart, the course of my life and thinking lifted. There is no accusation from God, but only good things are said about me in the heavens.

The benefits of engaging with Jesus : Ephesians 1:1 -14

1. We are made co heirs with Jesus. God has appointed him an heir to all things in heaven and earth. “Holy and blameless” is how God now knows us and this salvation was a plan, even before sin came into the human race.

2. Accepted through Christ and in Christ, we have favour and grace through Jesus. Elsewhere Paul speaks about “putting on Christ.” God sees Christ’s holiness when he looks at us. In Colossians, it speaks of Christ being the image of the Father and we are the image of Christ when we are in him. So the Father sees the reflection of himself, Holy, blameless, his glory, this is the work of the blood of Jesus poured out for us. It changes our lives. Our position shifts from sinner to righteous. This makes sense as to why we can come before the throne of grace according to Hebrews and when Jesus speaks of asking and it will be given to you. When we realize how God sees us, then faith comes alive on the inside and burns, as we can be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world.

3. Praying the price. In Christ, we are no longer slaves but we are free, as the Israelites were led out of slavery, so we have been too. The behaviors, addictions, history that bound us, no longer have the ability to keep us chained. It is true to be said that we often don’t realize it, so we stay bound in Egypt and do not head for the desert – but the power of the curse has been lifted. The enemy has let you go, but you choose to stay. We must pursue to understand our freedom and walk it out as revelation comes.

4. Belonging – our identity becomes changed we are no longer orphans as we are marked with the Holy Spirit and have an eternal home. We go from being insecure to secure confident people with a purpose to make this message of love known to the world.

I have only touched on a few gems there are more and as we research, think and pray, God will bring fresh revelation so that we may know the full joy of all we have through because of Jesus.

Desert training


The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert Matthew 4:1-11. We can find ourselves thrown into what feels like a desert place. We become hungry for God. Yearning to hear from him and yet can’t seem to find him. We can feel disconnected when we try and engage in worship and our prayer life becomes an act of discipline rather than a flow of communication from desire. In the desert we not sure how we got here or how to be during it. We certainly can’t figure out when it will end.

Psalm 23 refers to “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” and the desert can feel and look likes the shadow of spiritual death. Interesting how Jesus handled the desert. He spoke the word of God when the temptation came from the voice of the devil he came to offer an immediate way out and encourage Jesus to follow him rather than the voice of God the father. But Jesus stood firm and spoke scripture to deal with the temptation. What ever takes us to the desert it could be a situation, pressure or the leading of the Holy Spirit it doesn’t matter. What matters is how we navigate it and what our response will be.

God is always looking for our response and to see how we will act under pressure. We probably always act well on the stage of our life but when we are behind the closed doors and the desert experience is strong how will we respond then?

We learn from the book of Job that our character is tested and formed at the same in the desert. Job lost everything except his own life and yet still he had a faithful response and would not slander God or blame him when his so called friends came to offer him a way out. Both Jesus and Job remained faithful and trusted in God despite what they felt like.

I wonder if we can reframe the desert turning it into a training camp where our motives are purified and character is put to the test as if we were being prepared for greatness. Rather than spending ours complaining to God or to those around us we can use the desert wisely and enter training.


What a night

here i am

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Today is Christmas Eve the day when we can stop and think about the reason for Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ. Nineteen years ago I walked into a Church on Christmas Eve and gave my life fully to Christ. I invited him to come live with me as I travel through life.

Jesus Christ came into the world as the saviour of the world. He is known as the light of the world and brings everlasting life to those who choose to embrace him. Today I have been able to stop and stand still to look at the amazing gift of God to us. This gift being God himself coming to dwell on the earth in the form of mankind known to us as Jesus Christ.


As I stood in a Church this afternoon and lit a candle, prayed a prayer to dedicate my life afresh to Jesus I was reminded of being connected to the amazing story of Christmas and the person who invoked it. Christmas is where the sacred world of God meets the human world of us and I am so pleased that am able to know God and He knows me all because of the birth of Christ.

Christmas time is our opportunity to say hello to Christ.


A prayer for Christmas

Heavenly Father

As I stand and look for you this night. Bring love and hope into my heart.

Bring peace and comfort into my soul as I sit and remember your gift of Jesus.

I place my life into your hands and trust your ways and direction each day.

Bring joy and love into every bone in my body, a joy that overcomes all pain and fear.

May that Joy spill out to others.

May your Love flow through me to be a blessing.

Thank you Heavenly Father for Jesus the light of world that lightens up my heart.



Your life counts

What story are you writing through your life? I am writing this from Uganda, having been out here for two weeks. This was not my first time in fact the story of Uganda and I began in 1997 when I first travelled to an area called Kumi. That trip was the tipping point for me that led to making changes in my life. The impact of that trip will never leave me and causes me to keep investing in the story that is unfolding every time I return.


In the west we are so goal driven to tick things off that we sometime fail to see the bigger picture that is being painted over our life span. In 1998 I went back to Uganda with the intention to live in the country and co ordinate medical services for the poor. However sometimes it is not possible at the time to go ahead with the best laid plans. But a seed had been planted in the hearts of the Ugandan people and I.

I met a man in 2003 called Simon. He helped a team I was leading with translation and logistics – he had a humble heart working as a cleaner at Ngora hospital and lived in a small garage at the time. He told me how he would come to the UK and study one day. I was blown away when he did. He studied and went back with an MA in theology and development. Whilst in the UK he had worked at a takeaway shop and sent the money back home.

Once home he brought some land and built a house in a remote village with the money he earned. Simon is ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church of Uganda and together we train and equip men and women in the ministry. This land now serves the community in that area by providing clean water that we at RSVP Trust helped to construct. Young people who were unemployed are employed to help with the project. They deliver water to elderly people who have no children to help them. They help the sick when food and wood are needed and they cannot manage. I sat down and met the young people on this trip and talked about the importance of having a vision for living whilst you are young.


The land is about venture into poultry farming so more hopeless uneducated young people can gain employment and have a purpose in life. Who would have dreamed that the man I met who lived in a garage and cleaned the hospital would have such an impact in his community through our friendship. His latest project is to restructure and regenerate Ngora hospital. I had the pleasure of spending a day at the hospital distributing gifts of hope and thinking about how we can support local people receive medical care.

As I reflect prior to returning home I am again awe struck realising that what I thought was lost had an even larger vision waiting to be unveiled sixteen years later. I thank God for allowing me to take this journey having learned to trust Him with my life plan. So I wonder what story your life is revealing?  I would encourage you to sit back and look at the wider impact that your life is producing. 

Stay Onboard

boatHow do you keep your faith alive is a question I keep getting asked as I travel around speaking at various Churches and events. I have had times when I feel my faith has become weak but part of my personality is to keep pushing through regardless and after a time faith springs up again.

When I sat down to think through the question I recognised that faith can get knocked when we are hurt or when we are out of step with what God has been speaking to us. Suddenly we may feel and act defensively toward Gods people or God. Ultimately our hearts can become shutdown and we are unreachable.

The key to not letting the hurt take root on the inside is to speak to God immediately. Give him the problem to sort out. In this world things are going to happen that we won’t like but maybe there is a silver lining. I was recently sat with a woman who had lost her unborn baby. I was blown away when she said “maybe this is a silver lining for me here. I have to believe that to get me through.” Such a brave perspective through a difficult time. I notice that often God takes brick walls that we hit, difficult situations we face or relationship breakdowns to bring new life.

Three actions you can take to keep faith alive. Firstly hang out with other like-minded people. The Bible advises us “not to give up meeting together” for a reason. Be around people who believe the same things as you. I love hanging out with people who are Jesus focused and love listening to their stories of what he is calling them to do and opportunities they have had to share Gods love; it inspires faith in me. It is apparent that we are likely to become like those we hang out with. If you want to grow your faith then be around people who are living out faith.

Secondly cultivate time with God each day. The Bible advises us “to pray continually.” Prayer is not going to God with a list but it is the vehicle for developing our relationship. It is one of the ways that we “stir ourselves up in our most holy faith.” It would be strange if I only spoke to my husband or family when I wanted something we tend to chat and listen and share our hearts; that’s relationship. I learned to pray by listening to others, reading books, thinking about how Jesus prayed and others in the Bible and then doing it.

Allowing the Bible to lead and direct our thoughts and habits and relationships is vital to keeping our faith alive “all scripture is God breathed and useful.” If God has spoken and its written down that’s amazing I want to read and know Him through what He has said and allow His thoughts and ways permeate my life.

The book of James observes “a person who asks God for something and then doubts is like a wave thrown about on a sea.” They are not sure in their mind what they believe and then confusion can come leading to loss of faith. When we form a deep friendship with God we know whom he is and our eyes are firmly fixed on him. As we relax into God his peace comes in the most difficult of times and we are able to resist the temptation to walk away thereby strengthening our faith.

Set Yourself Free


Sometimes I wonder who is running my life? I like to think that I am living according to Gods plans and purpose for me. But often find myself being led down a path where I have no desire to go listening to the opinion and thoughts of people more than God then find myself doing the things they have suggested. I think the phrase is people pleasing.

God speaks clearly in the Bible about not pleasing people but by living according His ways
“the fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Proverbs 29:25

So how do we extract ourselves from this destructive habit? I think it’s great when we have a light bulb moment so we are able to recognise what is happening. What I have noticed is that when I don’t have a clear sense of who I am or where my focus is heading then at very moment I am vulnerable to the misleading of well-intentioned people popping ideas into my head. My husband often points out to me that people will always want us be like them and try and steer our lives to look similar which makes sense when you sit back in observation.

Knowing who we are and being secure in our relationship with God is a good foundation to have in place when trying to break the people pleasing habit. Over the years I have been on holidays I didn’t wish to go on, accepted jobs in the past I didn’t want to do and then shared houses with people I didn’t even like all in the name of people pleasing. I can smile as I look back but at the time it caused a lot of chaos and pain.

This is where devoting myself to following God and his calling on my life has been the best thing I have ever done. Through learning about my true identity and destiny in God I realised that I am made in his design and therefore he knows the best paths for to take and who with so really I need to take more notice of what he says and where he leads rather than people who may assume to know me. But really who can know our innermost being apart from our creator?

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:13 – 16

So the tools I use to arrest any people pleasing habit that rears its head have been to be confident and secure in who I am as a woman, be sure of where I am heading so living by vision rather than circumstance and letting God influence me more than people and to have the courage to say “No” trusting my own intuition and Gods leading in my life.

Like any other addiction/ habit we must look underneath the why we develop certain behaviours and work on bringing healing to those places inside us along with practising sobriety from the habit we are trying to break.


One challenge I face in life is being distracted or allowing distractions to influence my path. So I have been pondering how to help myself in this area. Sadly it has taken me getting to the point of being so frustrated and anxious that I really have to do something now. Every week demands get more not less so we have to find a way though. I am sure I am not the only one facing this.

Having thought and looked from different angles as to whether it is people, places or situations that cause me to get so distracted I end up achieving nothing some weeks. I have come to the conclusion that it is actually myself at the root of the problem. So even that is hard to hear it actually means I can do something about it.

Firstly it is important to say that I am not feeling down on myself and neither should you. I recognise I get distracted due to having a big heart of compassion and kindness. God flows through this gift to bring his kingdom but I do not think it is his plan that we are destroyed through the gift it is supposed to be a blessing. I also have another mixed blessing in my personality, I am highly spontaneous and I have to work on guarding that side of my nature. The positive side of spontaneity is that I can be very creative and open to functioning out of the box.

Avoiding the distraction pit requires a few boundaries and self-respect of those boundaries to be put in place. It is important to recognise that we are not responsible for other people’s actions, words or lives. Being in ministry can be a mixed bag sometimes as we often feel the pain of others and want to help. Actually it is the one in need who can help them and it is up to God to grow the seed of faith planted in someone. As leaders we may carry a sense of over responsibility toward others that can cause us to be distracted. It is vital we reflect regularly on the fact that it is Gods mission, Gods ministry and His Church so He is responsible we just get to witness some amazing Kingdom things happening sometimes.

Time boundaries are the main thing to work on and then implementing them. For example I like to write, study and think in the mornings so no point having appointments to see people first thing. The reality is though I always have appointments in the morning as it is always more convenient for the other person. I seem to believe when we are in ministry it is always people’s needs above mine which of course is a false economy as when I meet them I am exhausted before I have begun as am functioning outside my preferred rhythm.

So planning time and listening to our energy zone is vital. I know this is not always possible but even Jesus managed his time wisely by getting up early to go and pray or knowing when he needed space and heading to the other shore even though the people were wanting to see him.

The second area to work on could be living by vision rather than “I ought to.” Each year I tend to sketch out a plan for what God maybe calling me to do this year and then also some things I have a desire to do and not all spiritual things either. Once I have the focus for the year then I have a target to hit. The how to get there can be flexible but the vision should direct how I use my time, friendships, who I spend time with, places I travel to, what I read and so on. I have done it the other way of letting the year unfold but as I can get distracted so easily I get to the end of that year look back and think I have just lived everybody else’s vision. A clear sense of direction is vital for purposeful living, leading others and our own self-esteem.

So to ease frustration and anxiety I am going to deal with the root of being distracted, myself and bring discipline to the area of time, boundaries and vision. If you can sit down and have a think, your areas of distraction may be different and you may need to pay attention to different areas in your life.

A great couple of questions to ask to kick off this process are :-

Am I investing in what God has called me to do this year?

What changes do I need to make to determine the course of this season?

I would be really interested to hear from you on how you handle this challenging problem that many of us are facing. So email me any tips and pointers that I can share with others.

The Art of Caring


Caring for others is at the heart of the New Testament teachings of Jesus. If we read the life story of Jesus he was always interacting and caring for others. In the book of John we see him “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another John 13:34-35. To care could mean to notice someone or a cause that needs attention, exploring how to engage and then doing it; love has a voice and is active.

The ability to care is a gift or an art that is developed often through life’s losses or painful situations that we have wrestled with. As we have experiences in life we can engage with others who pass through what one of the Beatles song refers to as “the long and winding road” that leads into eternity. What matters on this road that we all travel is not what we achieve or gain but rather how many people’s lives we touch with kindness as we offer the gift we are holding; the ability to care.

I was once asked by someone who was probing me about the reasons for addiction in a person’s life “what is it you want more of?” If we can answer that question then we may have identified the root of our addictive tendencies. As I wrestled for truth in my heart to answer the question I found myself replying, “to be loved.”

To be loved is a natural inbuilt desire and basic human need. So the art of caring and the need to be loved are a match one meets the other and brings healing to the soul. This is the ministry that Jesus was modelling for us as he walked the earth as we read his story he demonstrated love by caring. What I have learned over many years of leading a mercy ministry that reaches out and touches lives is this. As we care for others we are ourselves find healing and meaning in this life.

If we really desire to walk and follow Jesus then we can begin to care deeply for others as he did. We must remember that to be authentic love must have a voice and be active, which is so much more than a feeling.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:4