Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

The Corona Effect – What will life look like?

April 18, 2020

We all want to know what will get back to normal and what has changed. Of course, only a fool can predict with certainty, and many fools are speculating – talking as though they actually know!

Sunset of an Era

Some points are currently observable, and may have some predictable consequences:

Our households have been reminded with a jolt that keeping some stocks of basic food items is a good thing to do. We’ve been too long deceived by the convenience of supermarkets and corner shops that are open 24 hours a day. Our grandparents were wise in keeping dry goods, salt, pickles and potatoes in hand.

We have suddenly realised that Just-In-Time manufacturing and super lean supply chains are dangerous, as is the ultimate cost reduction of transferring consumable manufacturing to Asia. We are likely to see renewed interest in local manufacturing. 

The economic shock is making us instantly more open to prudence and thrift. We are now looking again at what we buy and ‘need’ with fresh eyes. 

The value of family and companionship is has been highlighted. The fragility of this life is suddenly in the limelight. This is making us aware of the need for healthy, forgiving and tolerant relationships. I have this week heard of a family that has been in bitter battles and clashes throughout three generations and multiple cousins. The crisis led one man in the centre of it all to create a massive WhatsApp group with everyone in the extended family and make them all face up to the reality that we might not have each other for long – so let’s put the past behind us and start being a family!

The social distancing has made us all suddenly appreciate liberty, to start thinking about freedoms and how much we appreciate being able to travel and gather. Suddenly the meaning of totalitarian and repression has some measurement scale, and we see the value of open spaces in our community and the need to associate freely. Human nature makes us prone to wanting what we are told that we cannot have!

We have become super sceptical about politicians and within a month some of the distinctions between conservative economics and socialism have been blurred beyond recognition. Party voting may never be the same again. Added to all this political re-calibration, we have had our eyes opened to the manipulation and self-seeking nature of the mass media. The mainstream, traditional media are suddenly exposed as negative, unhelpful and biased in a way that the ordinary people do not appreciate!

Interest in spiritual insights and what the Bible has to say about the world has been amplified dramatically over a few short weeks. We are told that Bibles are in high demand. Politicians are talking about prayers on a daily basis in governmental briefings. The biggest shift that is happening in front of our eyes is that secularism is evaporating in the heat of the trauma. 

All these aspects combine to create the ingredients for a new breath of fresh air in our communities and society. We can optimistically expect an increase in collaborative, community minded business. We are likely to see a breakdown in the old assumed boundary between charities and businesses. We may well see a whole new approach to what church and congregation mean, as online, global and personal communication mature from the current fumbling attempts to recreate the old wineskins of congregational gathering.

The new wineskins are being prepared. They will be filled with new wine. The name of the wine is shalom!

[Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning profound wholeness; everything in its place and unbroken; right with God and creation]

The Prayer of A Righteous Person is Powerful and Effective

December 31, 2013


Calvin prayer

 Photograph courtesy of Graham Jones

One of my key highlights from 2013 was this prayer written and prayed out by 12 year old Calvin Strong of Saint Helens.  In a one minute prayer – alongside 7 leaders from a wide spectrum of churches, Calvin captured the heart of prayer for Oneness and the hope of what the Church might be in the days ahead.. as you read this, would you pray along in agreement?

 Father God,

I pray for our churches, that there will be unity between the generations.

Help us to build strong relationships in You, which demonstrate Your love, to others.

As we face challenges let us be ready to support each other and offer comfort in difficult times.

May we be accepting of each other’s experiences and individuality.

In the sharing of wisdom and talents help us to show respect.

Through Your power help us, as a church family, to bring faith and hope to those who have none.

In Your mercy hear our prayer.

(hear our prayer)

Watch here as Calvin leads the stadium prayer gathering with his prayer


Standing together. On what basis?

December 31, 2013

    8 Representatives Together

You Tube video of 8 leaders prayer together 

With all that has separated the Body of Christ over hundreds of years there is a mountain of disunity that we need to deal with. At Saints in the Stadium thousands of Christians from all traditions and backgrounds came together to call on God to seek His help for the United Kingdom. Eight people from different denominations of the Church stood and prayed for Oneness in the Body in the United Kingdom.

There is only one God and Father. Centuries of separateness amongst believers for countless reasons does not change the unity of God. Standing together and singing or praying does not change the separation in our hearts. Issues of truth do not become flexible with us simply holding hands.

We can, however, take heart from the increasing number of leaders and church representatives who want to see a change and want to stand together on the basis that Jesus is Lord. We prayed for God’s help in the matter of heart oneness. God is answering this prayer.

Standing together declaring the Lordship of Jesus

The representatives praying at Saints in the Stadium:

Leading – Dennis Wrigley – co-founder of the Maranatha Community

Bishop Geoff Pearson – Church of England Bishop of Lancaster
Father Bill Keogh – Roman Catholic itinerant priest
Rosie Critchlow – Co-ordinator of Network Manchester
Pastor Phil Jump – Chairman of North West Free Church Council
Mr John Cavanagh – Prayer Co-ordinator for Together for the Harvest
Pastor Ayo Akinsanya – Senior Pastor of Deeper Life Church Merseyside
Steve Clifford – Director of the Evangelical Alliance
Calvin Strong – Young People’s Representative
Watch here

The Born-again Identity

March 5, 2013

The Born-again IdentityBorn (again) Identity

A man washed up at sea, alone and desperate – without any clarity as to who he is and what his purpose is. Jesus intervenes in his life to reveal that he has paid the price for the man’s failure and as the man accepts this on faith, the man is liberated from the control of the past and starts to make his own choices for real life.

The Born-again Supremacy

The liberated man is in charge of his own flesh and living in freedom under the leading of the Holy Spirit. He learns to see the difference between the programming of his former sinful life and true   freedom. He learns to take the lead in the fight against control and manipulation. Growth in this leads to victory in life.

The Born-again Ultimatum

As the man matures and learns who are on the side of the Kingdom and how the enemies operate, he becomes a target for those enemies. Some who appear to be on the side of the Kingdom, are in fact deceivers, seeking their own empires. Some enemies are evidently evil, and need to be stopped. The man has only one option, to stick to the truth and ultimately even his own life is not something he can cling onto.

The Born-again Legacy

The man who has lived his life in Jesus’ liberty leaves consequences for the next generation. The exposure of truth and removal of evil control systems will result in opportunities for those who come next. One person’s liberty from the evil programme will enable many others to take the battle against darkness to a new level.

12.12.12 A KAIROS CALL

December 11, 2012

As we reach 12 noon on 12.12.12 the very date and time speak to us of spiritual alignment, of Godly government, of Jesus Kingship. What a critical moment in the life of this nation this just happens to be?

What is God saying to us? To you?

Consider these words written by Dennis Wrigley of the Maranatha Community for this moment in history:


The Lord is asking

Is it stop

Or is it go?

Is it yes

Or is it no?

Is it death

Or is it life?

Is it peace

Or is it strife?

Is it moving as one

Or is it falling apart?

Is it warmth of the Spirit

Or is it hardness of heart?

Is it zeal for the Kingdom

Or is it drift and decay?

Is it the gloom of the night

Or God’s glorious new day?

Is it muting the trumpet

Or wielding the sword?

Is it forward

Or back?

Is it defence

Or attack?

Is it moving

Or staying?

Is it striving

Or being?

Is it watching

Or seeing?

Is it fluttering

Or flying?

Is it living

Or dying?

Is it a temple

Or a tent?

Is it in ownership

Or rent?

Is it here

Or is it there?

And if not here

Where oh where?

Is it now

Or is it then?

And if not now

When oh when?


Dennis – Maranatha 8th December 2012

Let’s Have Breakfast!

November 4, 2012

It’s a major junction in history, Jesus has risen from the dead, and is launching a whole new era of life with the Holy Spirit. Jesus meets the disciples on the beach, and teases them about their lack of a catch – a pointed reminder for Peter of his original encounter with him. By the way -all the while, Jesus already had a fire going and fish cooking! Just as the first time when Peter met him, Jesus suggests throwing the fishing net overboard again. Again it happened, a great catch. The first time this happened, the nets began to break, but this time the disciples noted the large number of fish, and that the nets did not break. It is said that that at that time there were thought to be 153 species of fish, so these men who had been called to be ‘fishers of men’ would immediately see the significance: They were called to reach all species of fish – all mankind! The nets were not breaking, the nets were full, every nation was represented, and the surprising catch was a divine intervention!

Jesus is about to talk to the disciples about their future ministry and priorities in the great and wonderful new era that was opening up; A vision to reach the ends of the earth and teach all people everywhere about the Kingdom. Before he gets to that he says

“Come and have breakfast”

What an insight into the nature and character of Jesus! At this momentous turning point of history he doesn’t launch a teaching programme or organise a seminar. He is at peace, relaxed, and practical. He has breakfast with his close friends.

Let’s be like Jesus. Who wants breakfast?

October 4, 2012

I was present last night when Lord David Alton gave this talk. Lord Alton is astonishingly consistent and persistent. His ability to present the argument without aggression and yet stir people’s hearts is immense. This presentation is worth stopping what you are doing and reading with attentiveness.  

Click on this link for the power pont presentation which accompanies this lecture and which is in the Media section of the web site.

Click on the linkbelow for a link to the video recording of the lecture:

Why Britain Needs The Sharp Compassion of the Healer’s Art

Maranatha Lecture October 3rd 2012. Manchester.

David Alton


I am very pleased to have been asked to deliver this Maranatha Lecture tonight, especially as it gives me the opportunity to thank Dennis and Sheila Wrigley for their friendship and encouragement over these past 40 years.

Let me also thank Kevin McKenna for his work in organising tonight’s event.

Maranatha’s call for unity, renewal and healing has always been close to my heart and although all three of those words are each worth an entire lecture I have chosen tonight to concentrate on the damaged and wounded…

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Fresh Wind in the Willows

July 16, 2012

Exactly six years ago I left a well paid job with a great pension plan to start a business and see which way God’s river would flow.

Shortly before leaving United Utilities I attended a business transformation course, and on the last day as we departed, everyone was given a twig of willow. This practical symbol of new beginnings and sustainability (the buzzword of the time) was given with the suggestion that all 100 of us go and plant these new trees. You can see here that my willow tree now stands over 20 feet tall and thriving!

A few months ago our family visited Ely and I took a tiny twig off one of the glorious willow trees by the river. After nurturing it in a bottle and then planting it in our garden, I was delighted this week to see the evidence that it has taken root and producing new shoots.

This led me to start thinking about this next phase of 6 years. Over the past 6 years, God has provided in numerous ways: we have eaten well, travelled all around the world (including China, Kuwait, Africa, United States and several European countries), made hundred of new friends, participated in several exhilarating business initiatives, seen the start of a regional business network, been involved in political activity, and national prayer initiatives. The most significant aspects which God has opened up are the regional unity of the Church on Merseyside, and the tri-continental relationships working to see the ‘reversal of the African Slave trade’. With these areas in mind, it is very exciting to think about what God has planned for His people in the coming 6 years. As my new willow (the weeping variety) grows and develops, I will be reporting on its progress and the work of the King in our lives. We are entering a truly momentous season of growth, new life, and global relationships.