It’s the twenty-fist anniversary of God outpouring the FIRE of His love in Toronto, Canada! That’s an incredibly joyful and thankful thought, but it’s also a very sobering thought!
We are so thankful for this renewal which is still continuing and impacting individual lives and nations. We are so thankful that we are alive for such a time as this.We are so thankful for the way that John and Carol Arnott and the team at Catch the Fire have stewarded this move of God, with faithfulness and integrity. We are so thankful for the impact, healing, blessing, and God-encounters we have received ourselves as a result.
But it is also sobering. Where have those twenty one years gone?! This is a big chunk of life! And how much are we going to allow this revival to impact the rest of our lives?
As we reflect today on all that our God has done, may we be freshly inspired to push into more of Him. May we love and hunger after His Presence more than ever. May we find new depths of personal renewal and healing. May we carry His amazing love wherever we go. May we allow Him to take us into all the changes He wants to, laying aside our fears and resistances.There’s still so much more of Him to be found.
As I sit in my room in an unusually deep-freezing January in Toronto, I am thankful; very thankful. It’s the twentieth anniversary of the day the Holy Spirit came and poured Himself out in renewal and revival to a small Vineyard church near Pearson International Airport. Within weeks thousands were flocking to the nightly meetings from all over the world, with airlines putting on extra flights from the UK, just to accommodate all the Brits who wanted to go over.
And twenty years later, the phenomenon of revival continues, and countless lives globally have been changed for the better, as they have experienced God the Father’s tangible love, received revelation and healing, and entered into deeper intimacy with Jesus.
In Golden Valley Church (then known as New Life Church, Churchdown) we initially experienced this revival in 1994 as a result of Rodney Howard-Browne’s visit to Birmingham, where we hungrily queued to attend the meetings and encountered God’s amazing Presence in a new and intimate way, with much joy and laughter, tears and cries, shouting and shaking, falling and resting. We were never the same again, as Holy Spirit kept on coming. Over the following days and months, Continue reading “TORONTO BLESSING”
I have felt the Holy Spirit twisting and turning within me for a couple days regarding the 20 year anniversary of overwhelming visitation of God Almighty at an unknown church nestled next to a huge airport near Toronto.
Let me use an analogy. Also about 20 years ago most people did not have computers or access to the internet. Those who did found it very slow. And it was mostly just text, not much color or graphics, very little sound or motion. But now it is common, and even among the poorest nations somewhat available. What little we had we treasured and marvelled at in the cyber world 20-some years ago. In fact, it was through the baby internet that many of us old timers first got news that God was doing supernatural things (and extravagantly!) in our own lifetimes!
Sometimes having an abundance of something for a long time dulls us to its marvels and preciousness. God has ALWAYS been doing something supernatural with humanity and always will. But sometimes is it is relatively dry in many, maybe most places. We read about the supernatural in the Bible and in biographies of evangelists and missionaries. We longed to see something supernatural at least once before we died! But 20 years ago, everything changed. Suddenly the floodgates burst open. There had been serious leaks happening already, and some of them are direct forerunners to what began in Toronto. But Toronto impacted the WHOLE GLOBE with with too many signs, wonders, and miracles to even categorize, let alone count. And that ended up not even being the BIG thing. The BIG thing was the Heart of God, and his tender fatherly-ness, all open and exposed and lavishly poured out on us. My eyes are tearing up as I write.
I write all that to say this. A few of us have open doors to return to Toronto on January 20 and celebrate God’s unbelievable love for us there, but millions who have been touched do not have that opportunity. My heart cries out for you all over the globe, to take a bit of January 20 and passionately and reverently thank God for lavishing Himself upon humanity in our own lifetimes. Imagine the outpouring of love and gratitude arising from all over the planet, for what happened that one day in the dead of winter twenty years ago. And for what is as now as common and accessible as today’s internet. I wonder what would happen in the spirit, if such an outpouring of worship happened January 20. Will you join me?
It was a great pleasure to again welcome Jeremy and Connie Sinnott to our church for the ‘Presence Keepers’ Conference. Like us at Golden Valley Church they have a passion to see the Body of Christ drawn into intimacy with God through worship and soaking in His presence where hearts are healed and renewed in preparation for the coming Bridegroom.
The conference was well attended by people who came from a wide range of churches and areas. All of us had been drawn by a desire to have a deeper knowledge and experience of God in our lives. Jeremy and Connie led us in worship that was beautiful and gentle, yet tremendously powerful. There was a great sense of God’s Presence that arose and emanated throughout the place that lasted all weekend.
Throughout their teaching and sharing, we had fun and laughter with Jeremy and Connie. Connie shared how she used a little buzzer that went off every ten minutes that reminded her to praise and thank God for all her blessings and circumstances, which is so important to do. It was so refreshing in the way they taught us not to have a divide from God that made it easier to receive. They exhorted us to practice intimacy with God’s presence and to have a deeper knowledge of His heart of love for us and explained how we need God to be able to flow out of us to reach people and touch hearts. We can do nothing of ourselves. We need to be channels for Him. It was also wonderful to have time to experience some special times of ‘soaking’ up His presence and our Heavenly Father was able to gently draw us closer bringing release and freedom as He touched us. Our lives were opened up to Him in a deeper way.
Faith levels continually rose as the manifest presence of God came down. Signs and wonders were demonstrated on our second day and healings were in our midst.
Prophetic sessions were also arranged for people who wanted some encouragement from God over their lives and these proved to be enjoyable and affirming both to those who prophesied and those that received. It is such a joy when we allow God speaks and we receive all He has for us!
The ‘Fire Tunnel’ at the end of our meetings was magnificent! We all lined up and went through the tunnel formed by leaders (some of us several times)! We were enveloped by the Holy Spirit’s power and we mostly staggered through with much hilarity and laughter.
It was great to hear testimonies of healings last weekend at Presence Keepers. One man with a lazy eye for 70 years was able to see much more clearly after prayer… another lady reported the cloudiness in her vision from a small cataract had gone… another suffering from ringing in her ears reported it had ceased… two others unable to lift arms above shoulder height were able to reach up and praise God… Thank You Jesus for Your great love.
I came downstairs this morning, sometime after my wife, to the sound of an ‘old’ Hillsong cd playing; “For This Cause”. I’d forgotten what an amazing set of truly anointed worship this is!! From the stirring song ‘Faith’ to the intimate love song ‘It is You’. As I listen I am simply drawn back into God’s Presence. So precious!
“This treasure that I hold, more than finest gold, Jesus it is You..” How relevant are those words right now to me, to us, to Golden Valley Church! In an age where we become bored with everything and move on so swiftly to the next thing, there’s some amazing life and hidden nuggets of gold from the Father in here. Don’t move on too fast, savour the nourishment inside the sweet!
I want to take a moment here and truly honour Hillsong Church, its pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, its worship pastors, Darlene Zschech, Reuben Morgan, Miriam Webster, etc. Who can tell the impact that they have truly had in this generation? Thanks guys, you are true treasures, a priceless gift to the Body of Christ worldwide.