Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Reason For God - Timothy Keller

If you want help answering the tough questions that you may face from your unbelieving friends, family or colleagues this is a MUST read. This was one on my Christmas list, and I am nearly done. It has been brilliant! 

Want help with apologetics? This is the one for you!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Centre Parks Training

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all, I know I had a great time personally. It's nice to be back in the swing of things though. I'm finally back writing, the first time in nearly four weeks!

Anyway, after the busy Christmas period, we as Impact students headed of to centre parks in Thetford--- a five hour train journey away--- to meet with 150 other young people who have given a year of their lives to serve Christ and his church. It was amazing just being in an environment with so many other people all at the same place in life as you. 

We had five days of training to look forward to. These were...
  • Mission & Culture- Andy Martin.
  • Setting people free pt.1- Simon Holley.
  • Setting people free pt.2- Simon Holley.
  • Joy, Self pity and decision making- Andrew Wilson & Paul Johnson.
  • Leadership- Steve Tibbert.
 So, as you can see from the list, some brilliant subjects and some great speakers, what more could you want?

We kicked off with mission. Andy Martin spends a lot of time working with David Devenish mainly working in Eastern Europe and Islamic nations, so he is a guy perfectly build to communicate about mission and culture. He started by communicating God's plan for mission from the beginning of time then moved on to talking about different cultures and how to effectively plant churches in those cultures. 
One of the demonstrations that he used to show greetings will stay with me for a long, long time. I was sat taking notes when he asks for a volunteer. "For this one, I will need a boy to help me demonstrate..." Now immediately my head goes down, trying not to be noticed, but then my group (Bristol Base) all started volunteering me to go to the front. "Yep, we will have you..." Oh no! So I walked slowly to the front of the room and stood nervously awaiting whatever was coming my way. I knew it was greetings, could it be that bad?! He proceeded to shake my hand, hug me, kiss me on the cheeks and then hold my hand...IN FRONT OF 150 PEOPLE!! Apparently I looked awkward. 

Another part of centre parks which is always good fun is the swimming. Centre parks is famous for it's rapids. As expected there were pile ups down the rapids, with everyone racing as fast as they can to reach the finish first. Luckily, no one lost their shorts...too much. 
The plunge pool is also good fun, a pool that is a lot colder than the normal swimming pool. Of course we had to have competitions to see who could stay in the longest...and of course one of the girls had to go and win--- she stayed in there for 50 minutes!

The next two days put it correctly...CRAZY! Simon Holley and his team from the Kings' Arms Church in Bedford came and served us brilliantly. They covered a wide range of topics and we saw many people set free from past traumas, areas of sin in there lives that were hindering there walk with God and lots of people healed from physical conditions. These physical conditions included a broken and separated jaw, partial blindness, teeth being straightened and shoulder problems. God is awesome!

Unfortunately David Holden who was meant to be speaking on the Thursday was ill and unable to make it so we had the wonderful Andrew Wilson and Paul Johnson step in to speak on joy, self pity and making big decisions. They did brilliantly for the little time they had to prepare.
Andrew stressed the point that we are here to glorify God by enjoying him forever. Spot on. And then P-J continued by ministering to those of us that struggle with self-pity---the biggest illness in the United Kingdom. He finished off the day by bringing application from God's word about making important decisions, which was very relevant as all of us will be doing that very soon--- myself with university choices. 

Man, I can't believe I am on the last day already. Andrew "the dolphin" Wilson had been beaten the previous night by the Barracuda in the annual night of rapid races and Steve Tibbert was joining us to talk about leadership. Now he was very brave and opened the morning up to us to ask him anything we wanted...anything! So naturally someone asked to see his diary and the usual toughies like women and leadership came up. He did very well though and didn't fudge any of the questions which was great. He also imparted some of his experience and wisdom to us and inspired me personally to get more organised. Steve himself has already planned 2012 even though it is only just 2011! That's crazy organised!

Overall, it was a great week topped off with great teaching, great times of fellowship and ultimately meeting with God in a powerful way. What a week!