Full Time Blog – Craig

Full time Year 1 Student
First Term
Wow! It has been an amazing first term at School. I am so encouraged by being in the company of such awesome people and getting to know them better. Something for me which is great about being at School is the community and the sense of family that the School is built around. It is unlike anything I’ve ever come across but it models what Kingdom Families really look like. Seeing the great relationships that have been built and continue to be built is amazing. To be included in this, getting to know people better, is awesome. I actually feel safe and like I’m not going to be judged by people which is starting to help me come out my shell.
For me it has been awesome to come and do something like this. Discovering our identity in Christ is the crucial yet most overlooked part, I believe, in the Christian faith. We are living in a time where that is shifting and where the word ‘Christian’ is more than just a name. I’m excited to be a part of that shift. Something that is also unlooked is discovering that our Father loves us very much. Part of that is because, from what I’ve seen, too often this is outweighed by the value for information and knowledge. However, information and knowledge alone will not produce the fruits of relationship in our lives and will leave us very dried out. Father wants relationship with us and He wants our hearts much more than our service. When I’m at home I love to worship. I love to put on worship music and sing along both with the songs and in my own words but I’m actually finding that He’d just prefer me to sit down and just know His heart for me which I Love. I don’t feel I have to perform for Him. He is showing this to me more and more.
I’m also learning that I don’t have to get up and do loads of stuff to prove my worth or who I am but that I am known by Him and He is in me. Therefore, the simplicity of me being somewhere can release His presence there and I can expect to see change. This applies for all of us who believe in and love Jesus. I’m also really seeking Holy Spirit to show me things as this brings true transformation. I love hearing the great truths and reading them in my bible – it’s great to quote them and read them, but it’s only Holy Spirit that will transform and bring about true change. So I’m at a place of discovering and having dreams and pictures at the moment which is really awesome as I’ve not really had this before. Saying that, I still want more so let’s see what happens in the next few months. Yayy!
Second Term
I can’t believe I’m heading into my last term already! I am so loving what I’m learning at School. I have to be honest, some days I’ve learnt so much that when people ask me about it I can’t put it into words yet! But I know it’s good because I feel the character change in me, I know the truth is like a sword and while it can be real uncomfortable at times I need it. If I want to be a Christian by life and not just name I need to live in truth and that means hearing stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable at times.
I’ve just loved our last reading assignments of God’s Generals. Its great to look at the lives of other greats who have gone before us: to see how much and how far they went and what exploits they did for the King and His Kingdom. So if they are my floor then the possibilities are literally endless! I can be 100% me with 100% of Him flowing through me, which makes the flavor of Christ in me unique and wonderful, and you can see this in the lives of these Generals. We can also see it in the lives of each other, and the expression of Christ in each of us and how that is different to each person.
I also particularly enjoyed reading Moral Revolution which looks at healthy sexuality in a world where sex is literally a self seeking, self-centered twisted thing when God made it to be literally something that is so holy and speaks of our covenant with Him and how that mirrors in a man and woman coming together – its jaw dropping!
I’ve been having a lot of fun worshipping recently. Sometimes I no longer need to worship with words as I don’t feel the need to sing and I just stand or sit in silence. It’s about connecting with Him and from that connection, worship can get really creative. I’ve started using flags much more as part of my worship and hearing what colours to use as well and then seeing things happen. When I was at church I felt that I should wave green flag during worship (green can represent healing). During the preach I start feeling this pain shooting down my right arm so I shared it as a word of knowledge and two people responded to receive prayer. During another worship time I used my red flag and the atmosphere of the worship changed to an unstructured worship moment which was so beautiful that it felt like Jesus just walked in. I will keep going with flags as Holy Spirit has showed me a lot about breakthrough and freedom for myself and for many others both through flags and in movement.
I’m coming to the end of what has been three weeks away from School as I write this. I’ve missed being around everyone, but I’ve just had an awesome time hanging out with Jesus and letting Him love me. I don’t honestly know what has been happening and why I am crying but it has been wonderful and I just want more! And what is great is there is always more!
Year One Final blog
What an amazing year it has been! I have so loved being part of the School for this first year and I am excited for the next year also. It has now been a few days since graduating and I am so missing everybody already. There is something special about family, a family that is there for you in all your moments and that is awesome! I so much love being part of the community. The culture in the School is unlike anything I’ve seen demonstrated anywhere else, but it is the Kingdom way and I believe it’s the way Jesus would have modelled with His disciples in the early days of the church. Did the disciples and Jesus manage to get through so many packs of biscuits though in nine months – one day we will find out!
For Me I feel I have grown more in confidence this year, I have learned and am learning that God is really good and that it’s okay to come to Him with everything. This means that when something isn’t sitting right in me I can take it to Him and wait and listen to what He has to say about it. I still have insecurities I feel I need to deal with but I’m learning not to dwell on my shortcomings but instead to fix my eyes on Him, to what He has done and to what He is doing. I find it helpful to journal what He’s doing or what He’s currently saying, to write down all that is going on inside me, my concerns or on the other hand something I’m overjoyed about. I love looking back and seeing the promises, the testimonies of things that have happened as it builds faith in me to see the same thing again and fills me with courage. I am becoming more courageous in the prophetic and I believe that yes I do hear His voice. I know His voice and He wants me to be fully confident of that, not in a controlling way but always pointing me in love to the right way. I am amazed already at the different prophecies that are coming to pass. Some of these have been incredible and have happened within a few hours! He is so good!
I am so going to miss those who are leaving us. I am so grateful for the friendship and inspiration that each person in School has bought to me. The thing with being inspirational is that most people don’t even realise the impact they have on you and that they will leave a giant footprint in my life. I will miss different friends who are going off to far lands to bring about Father’s Kingdom. Equally I will miss those who are venturing into the church and land closer to home to bring about the Kingdom there and everywhere they go. Though I will miss these people and though I don’t want them to go, I am excited for what Father has in store for each of us. I am fully expectant. I am excited to remain in contact with these people that are family and meet up years down the line and share what Father has been doing in our lives and in the lives of others.
I’d also like to add on here, as it is my last blog for the year on the School website, my thanks to Lauren who has been very helpful in making sure my grammar is good. Lauren has been my Head of Year and anyone coming next year is in for a treat. Lauren has the most amazing ability to believe in people more than they believe in themselves. She is remarkable. I am so excited to be coming back for Year Two. I feel like good foundations have been built. Let’s build the house!
Year 2 Student
‘’First term is done – I can’t really believe it if I’m honest, it’s been a bit of a blur!!!
First week was instantly boom here we go. I remember that in Year One we had a nice gentle introduction to the year with Kevin Dedmon speaking on Core Values, but this year it was straight in! We’ve looked at leadership and how we can create different structures for the things that God wants to do. My favourite talk of this year has probably been ‘Ministering by Grace’ by Joaquin Evans. He explained that he had no idea how he arrived t that position of leadership except by loving Jesus! I love his authenticity. He was in 2nd year at Bethel and was describing how he was so mad about the books and work he was having to do and just wanted Jesus. He had to learn what grace was in this season. It’s funny because it describes how I am feeling right now too, like my grace meter for doing homework is 0% and I’m totally in complaining haha. But it’s for my good and He is training me in the midst of all this.
We had the wonderful opportunity to go along to Fire Conference representing LSSM and it was great just being reminded by Eric Gilmour what the true message of Christianity is – To sit at His feet and adore. Yes, we are to do and we are to go but if we don’t adore, if we don’t look, we will just be missing out on the main thing, the good part, the main point of the Christian Faith. Christianity is not about church, it’s not even about a prayer, it is the constant abiding and beholding of His face. It’s learning to practise His presence and recognise Him, which in a busy world feels possible. It’s just being able to slow down, remember what matters and to wait upon the Lord. Not to wait for Him to come because He is already here for He is God with us but we need to have experience and learn to Wait upon Him. To literally be wrapped up in Him. John, the man who confidently said I am John the beloved of Christ, learned to lean upon Him. I think it even mentions in the bible about John being the one who leaned upon Jesus. It’s this learning to wait upon Him that is critical to being a carrier of His glory and His person. I’ve noticed in my life there have been times where I’ve been touched but notice it fade away, I even walked away from Him when I was about 20 years old. Why was that? Because as Eric puts it, the public touch has to lead to the private Kiss. When no one else is looking, to enjoy Him, to just laugh with Him because He is pure delight, He is such Bliss. These aren’t just words, they are experiences in Him. I’ve found the past few months have been glorious for me, in the midst of life, such presence and glory has been touching me unlike anything I’ve experienced before. A well of joy unlike anything I’ve experienced before, I don’t even really truly know why or what happened. A friend asked me how I have changed and I thought that maybe my focus for Him has become more central but to be honest I don’t even know how or why it happened, it just has. I am grateful for that and want even more.
As painful as it may be for us to hear, too often our churches are stiff, rigid, boring places. I love people. I love meeting people but if He’s not there the party is missing the main element. You can have the noise, lights, cameras and drums but without Him it’s just pointless. It’s just crashing cymbals in the name of God when He himself wants to throw a massive party that may even look attractive to people! Jesus hung out with drunks, why? Was it possible they liked to be around Him because He was so much fun that they didn’t need their alcohol anymore to have fun? The Lord showed me a picture about a year ago during my first year where I was in a massive meeting of different church leaders and I was being introduced to different leaders outside and I was laughing and being looked at very strangely which made me laugh even more. I then went in and stood at the back with this man in white who I could not see but who was also laughing a lot (I believe this to be Holy Spirit). As I watched this service the main crescendo went up and the main act introduced, it was some famous singer though I can’t remember exactly who, I think it was Gary Barlow haha but I watched these people all singing in this church meeting. There were one or two leaders who were enjoying the lord, you could see it, they would turn around looking at the figure beside me and laugh and roll about while others just carried on like normal. I felt such a tug on my heart and it bought me to tears, such a wave of rejection that Holy Spirit felt from those ignoring him. It saddened me greatly even though just earlier I was experiencing such delight standing with Him. I recognised this picture was of much of our churches and I believe that we need to get back to the simple beholding of Him. The simple enjoying. Drop the programs. Drop your time limits. Drop the worship set even. Just behold, wait for Him, for in His presence is fullness of Joy.
My prayer is that lovesickness for Him, that He himself would come into our private times so much more, when no one else is looking, that we will be dunked, marinated and drunk forever in Him, to never leave that point but to continually drink in. Because it doesn’t have to be a mountain top experience, so often we leave moments but its not to be left, its too continue and to be something that gains momentum.
Blessings for you all and have a wonderful Christmas! C
Year 2 Second Term
Wow this year is going really fast! It’s like a blur it’s going so fast. I can’t believe as I write this I am about to enter my final term at School – for year two at least! Term two has definitely been interesting – we’ve had all the snowy weather which shut down the School and froze the pipes. I don’t think I’ve known it to be so cold and also fun at the same time! This term has just been an increase. I couldn’t really put my finger on something specific but I know it has just been an increase. His design for us is to go from ‘Glory to Glory’ and just seeing His hand in different things this past term has been wonderful. I’ve started getting plans together for the direction I think He wants to take me in which is not what I expected but is fitting perfectly into the puzzle and along the things I’m interested in and passionate about. I’m also seeing His hand of favour in different things: in my workplace, in the area of planning, for the direction I’m going in and He is also building expectation in me that His glory is going to manifest. I want to be open to however He wants to do things. His will is always to provide and I’ve always believed that in spite of what numbers are in front of me, the size of our need does not limit His ability to provide.
This coming month us Second Years have are required to do a preach in front of the School. We have an exercise where we have to do a 12-minute sermon breaking down scripture and things. I’ve found that knowing more about how to study has really helped me in my love for the word. I love the word – It’s His word and He goes about to perform it, far above what we could ever imagine. So I’m going to speak on the Glory realm and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to fit that into 12 minutes as you could easily go on for hours looking at the Glory. Of course the Glory is Jesus Christ Himself, He is the Glory! The Glory reveals who He is, it reveals His character and His nature to us. When we think of signs and wonders, they illustrate such a playfulness – the fragrances, the oil, the gold dust, the gems, the feathers, seeing the cloud and the many new signs I think we are about to walk into. I believe that God wants us to be a people who are a sign to our generation and I believe that there are new wonders and signs coming forth to confirm who He is in the marketplace and everyday life and also to us! I think that ‘evangelism’ is going to change as I believe wonders are going to come forth that will make the task of gathering a whole lot easier and He is going to do it through ordinary believers, for signs and wonders will follow believers. It’s not something you can make happen it’s just who He is. The Glory is the realm of ease and rest! I shan’t talk more on this otherwise I will go straight into my sermon haha!!
I’m just amazed at what Jesus is doing, the things He is opening up and what He is doing in my life. I just want to insert a praiseee break here!!!! I’ve had a wonderful Easter break, I don’t think I’ve never read so much in my life and I have also had the privilege of going to a local catholic church and experiencing their Easter Celebration which was amazing! When I was at the local food store last week we arrived moments after a serious accident involving a bin lorry and three other vehicles. So one of the few days I leave the house this is what I see – an accident site. There was such a sense of timing to be there just for that and to pray for those involved for swift recovery. I felt such a tugging while trying to shop, I knew I had to go and pray. I’m experiencing this new thing where I start coming over faint when I need to pray into something so it has been an experience this term end break! It’s like a whole new realm of the supernatural is opening up! I’m so excited! What is instore this term I wonder!
Craig Year 2 Student Full-time.