This morning in Golden Valley Church, Wes read out the prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake [c1540 to 1596].
Drake was a product of his time, an era of ongoing war between the European sea-going nations, and valued as a hero to the English and a ‘pirate’ to the Spanish, whose territories he often raided on behalf of the then Queen of England, Elizabeth I. His sailing career had begun as a young man within the slave trade, though latterly he employed escaped slaves in his crew. He was the second person to circumnavigate the globe in the late 1570’s, and received a knighthood immediately afterward. Through modern eyes he would appear to be a very strange mixture of qualities, yet he penned this amazing prayer which is so relevant to us all as we move into another year.
Disturb us, Lord, when We are too pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true Because we dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wilder seas Where storms will show Your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back The horizons of our hopes; And to push back the future In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain, Who is Jesus Christ.
Vision of the Apple Tree. I believe this is a very timely vision! I am going to embrace this vision and declare it over my life! Let’s do it!
While in a time of praise, Bob saw an apple tree in full bloom. As he prayed for understanding the Lord revealed to him that many people have been in the bud. They have been waiting on promises that go back many, many years. Now the Lord is saying that before the apple tree blooms this spring, their buds shall bloom. Although some of them are ancient promises they will bloom in the spring before the apple tree does and they will begin producing the fruit of righteousness.
Sandy Zondervan is an ordained minister, based at ‘Revival Fires’ Dudley, UK, and is part of the ‘Partners in Harvest’ equipping team. She is a regular visitor to Golden Valley Church.
We offer tribute to Bob Jones who passed away yesterday, peaceful and smiling. Bob was a contemporary prophet, known around the world for his prophecies which spanned over four decades. He was also known for His deep love for God and for people.
Bob prophesied in 1984, that the ‘New Wine’ would be poured out in ten years, which we saw and know happened in Toronto in January 1994, and other parts of the world.
Bob was known and loved by many friends of this church, some of whom he personally mentored. It would seem that his death may mark a change of season.
Bill Johnson tweeted, “Our wonderful friend and prophet Bob Jones went home to be with Jesus today, his first love, on Valentines a Day.”
Christian leaders around the world are mourning his passing and praying for his family. He is survived by his wife Bonnie.
It is with great sadness we report on the passing away of our dear friend and brother, Adrian Gwynne-James. Adrian was a member of Golden Valley Church before marrying Chinese Church Pastor, Esther Ho, in 2011.
Adrian passed away on January 2nd, after a lengthy but courageous battle with cancer. He will be deeply missed by family and friends. He is remembered as someone who was always genuine, kindhearted, and deeply grounded in his faith. His contagious sense of humour will also not be forgotten.
The funeral was held today in Leicester Chinese Christian Church, where many friends and relatives gathered together to honour and celebrate Adrian’s life, to draw near to God and receive comfort, and to say “goodbye” to a dear friend. It was conducted by Pastor Wes Boxall and Hui-Pak Wong, and translated into Cantonese. Tributes were given by Adrian’s late wife and sister.
As Christians we know that death is not the end, but all who pass away in Christ, are immediately in His eternal presence, where we will be reunited together. This brings great hope and comfort.
The ‘School of Leaders’ and ‘School of Prophets’ Graduation Supper was exceptional. We entered a transformed ‘Firehouse’ to a welcoming glass of juice and enjoyed time to mingle and chat with one another. The room was decorated with flowers and little plants. Each table was beautifully laid with cutlery, glasses and serviettes and the white tablecloths had gold and silver stars scattered over them. Seats had place names thoughtfully positioned and candles were lit to add to the ambiance created by soft background music. The dinner menu was distinctive and appealing with a choice of three courses and included catering for vegetarians. Each course was superb and delicious accompanied with red and white wine and chilled water. The dinner ended with a choice of coffee or tea and chocolates.
We were blessed that our guest speaker was Pastor Alison Bates from CCC Church in Cheltenham. Alison began by commending the schools for completing their courses, especially those who had given of their time to attend both schools in their desire to grow in the Lord. Alison continued by speaking about the calling and cost, yet honour of leadership. She spoke of the temptations that leaders can face in desiring to serve their own ministries. Leaders are called to serve others and she emphasised the importance of character before gifting through sharing with us that this is something she always looks for. This is primarily the quality that is needed to lead others into God’s fullness. The ‘Firehouse’ was highlighted as a place that has been positioned in an area often thought of as marginalised. Leaders are called to serve and to restore hope, value and dignity to the communit. Jesus reached out to those who were wounded and hurting. He restored dignity to them. We are called to do this wherever He may lead us.
After this, our leaders spoke to us with affirmation and encouragement to reach forward to all God has called and equipped us to. Wes and Sharron called each member of the school forward and we individually went up to shake their hands. Alison also shook our hands as she presented us with our certificates. This was done with great applause and happiness. Afterwards, amid much fun and laughter each school were grouped together and photographed by those who had brought their camera. The evening ended on a high note and we left feeling we had experienced a very special occasion.
Our Pastors, Wes, Sharron, Ian and Muriel lovingly prepared, cooked and served us with honour. We were privileged to attend and receive such blessing from our remarkable leaders. They truly demonstrated the Father heart of God towards us in their service of love. He is generous and pours out to us lavishly the best of the best and this is what we received from them.
The memorial service for our dear sister and member, Jean Besley, was held at a fully packed Christchurch in Ross-on-Wye on Saturday afternoon. Tributes were given by family members and by Wes Boxall, and the service was led by Pastors John & Sue Gasston of New Life Church, Ross. Friends gathered from all over the area to honour Jean, and to stand with the family who are mourning the sudden loss of wife and mother.
During the service the congregation sang many of Jean’s favourite songs and hymns as a tribute to her. Above all else she was a passionate worshipper.
Pastor Sue Gasston gave a short message on the ‘parable of the talents’ and being faithful in all that God has given to us as individuals, as Jean herself had done.
Refreshments were served after the service in the church hall.
We continue to pray for the family at their time of loss.
It is with a sense of sadness but also deep gratitude for a life well lived, that we honour the passing on of David Wilkerson, who was killed in a motor accident in Texas, yesterday.
David was the founder of ‘Teen Challenge’ and founding pastor of Times Square Church, New York. His life and ministry, particularly in the early days as recounted in his best-selling “The Cross and the Switchblade”, have been a major inspiration to many. Additionally some of our leaders and members have had direct connections with ‘Teen Challenge, UK’ in the past.
Truly he was a hero of the faith who has now been promoted to glory, and no doubt received with great cheers! Please continue to pray for his family, especially his wife Gwendoline, who was injured in the same car accident, but is in stable condition.