A.R.T Antics

A.R.T Antics
USMM Graduation

About Me

Manchester, United Kingdom
I am Someone who Loves God with I am a bubbly lively person who loves meeting people and loves God with all their heart and trys to put God first always. Someone who has a calling to work with young people and the arts. I have a heart for urban missionary work I am called to build the kingdom.

A few moments out of my life

Today a bunch of us young adults will be going to Cefn Lea in Wales for something called Immerse, some of us quite loosely can be called young adults as I will be 40 in under two years. Still I am taking this opportunity to stay young and hang out with a gang of great people and see some greenery at the same time. I am grateful for the chance to get into the country for the weekend.
The other day I managed to pop to my parents after work, clean for them ( I am their official cleaner) cook my dinner, used their shower as mine is broken and gave my Dad a lesson in using his kindle. He wanted to find out about the football. Then I went to a VIP meeting, thankfully, I was allowed to leave work early.

Last night we had The Sanctuary meeting which is a ministry that Gary Stretton Is heading up. I was there and it all sounded very exciting. The opportunity to reach out to very broken people and the chance to see God break into their lives. This is something we have been praying about as a VIP team. Please pray for this new ministry as they will need an army of intercessors behind them. 

A Weekend in the life of Angela Antics....

 The weekend just gone it included a singles meal where I am quite sure I was the youngest it’s usually the way.
We went to Sweet Mandarin in the northern quarter which is actually owned by our very own Lisa Tse, I believe she is part of the evening site which is now called HOME, more about that in a minute. Lisa is a bit of a celebrity she has a recipe book out, a range of sauces which you can find in Sainsbury’s. She has even cooked for the prime-minister and to top it all off she has an MBE.

Despite all this fame she addressed me personally and we got the star treatment. Saturday I went to Chester to see some of my old Uni friends some of which I had not seen in 15 years, yes I am that old. We had a good boogie and chatted to the early hours of the morning. So, the next day I get up (don’t make it to church) I have an enormous headache but it wasn’t an alcoholic hangover because I kid you not I only had one glass of wine. So, after a bit of deduction and a chat to my partner in healthy eating I came to the conclusion that I had a sugar hangover, because I had not really been indulging in sugar of late as I had heard that it was evil. Evil it is too, you should have seen me I looked like a Zombie and I was flaked out on their oldest girls bed. Even the day after when I was back in Manchester I was beat.

Rediscovering childlike imagination

There is something I have been pondering for a while and that is the world of the child and the imagination. I have thought about the world of the artist and how it links into the spiritual many times. As an artist and a christian I have come to realise in my own journey that Art is a most spiritual thing and imagination is a gateway into the spiritual. The many paintings I have produced have been ones that I have captured through prayer. I have said that painting is a kind of praying. I believe that I have interacted with the spiritual world through my painting which I will embark on once again in the near future.
It's funny the way that we seem to do away with imagination when we get into our adult years as if it does not have any use to us anymore. We relegate imagination to our kindergarten years, it's like we are scared of our imaginations. So we put our imagination in a box at the back of our minds and pretend we do t need it or want it. Because we have filed it away so far at the back of our hearts and minds if we ever need it we find it hard to unwrap. 
As a Christian when one takes a look at the bible it's like you need your imagination to understand what is written in the bible, it is full of metaphors and personifications and other literary devices which needs you to use your imagination. 
Jesus himself talks about how we need to be child like and not childish, he talks about us having faith like little children indeed if we do not come to him as little children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. This makes me realise that having an imagination is really helpful if not essential when engaging with the spiritual world and indeed when having a relationship with Jesus. No wonder so many of us struggle with having a relationship with God and even drawing closer to the spiritual world. 
So just because we are adults does not mean we should pack our imagination in the loft of our lives in a corner that we can't find. Because we will need it to connect with Jesus. 

Urban missionary of a different variety

They say it's after you complete a bible course that the real learning kicks in and I think they are right. The truth is I now have a lot more light, that means a lot more responsibility for my actions than I was before. So although at the moment I work in the corporate world even though we provide a public service I believe myself to be an urban missionary. Since starting there almost 6 months ago I have learnt so much. I don't think I was totally aware how the world thought. In lots of ways I've been in Christian surrounding for quite sometime with Ywam and doing the bible school last year. So in some ways it has been a refreshing change being in the real world so to speak. I'm continually reminded that most people's thoughts are on money, it's what most people talk about that together with getting as many material objects as possible. Buying items is talked about as a necessity rather than a luxury. Now I have been buying a few more things because I have a salary now and God has been teaching me for a while my royal lineage and that I deserve nice things. I've also learnt over many years that if you can invest in paying more for something that is the most sensible thing to do. Because buying cheap items is false economy. However I could very easily slip into thinking that identity and joy comes from some plastic and material which I know it doesn't but we can all be deceived and for much of the world it definitely does.

This may feature in another blog because I believe it is a very big subject. The issue of we are not what we do. Our jobs and roles do not define us. 
Being surrounded by high flyers has tested how much I trust God for having me in the right place but also whether I put my security and identity in Jesus or not. Unfortunately the answer has been no at times. I found myself feeling rubbish especially when I was dealing with the actual rubbish. God would say to me again and again and continues to do so that my identity does not come from what I do in no way in fact. He needs to carry on renewing my mind in this area.

Although a couple of nights ago I was at a church meeting and we were having a time of corporate worship. The song words that came into my head 
were "We fall down we lay out crowns at the feet of Jesus." I thought to myself how do we already have crowns. Then I realised that King Jesus is the one who gives us his crown, we get to wear Jesus 's crown. In fact he gives us one of our own we really are royalty that is how much his death and resurrection is worth . I am already royalty you cannot get a higher place than that not even celebs can post the same lineage. Now all this is in the physical realm but in the spiritual one I don't actually have a physical crown but I and you if you are a child of God new to remember who you are. 

It is then from this place then that we can reach out into our workplaces it does not matter if they have a higher position in the company or seem to have it all together. Because they probably don't and even if they think they do if they don't have Jesus as their Lord and saviour then they definitely don't have lots missing in fact the most important part.
So you dont need to go all the way to be a missionary God can use you right where you are. He can use you when you go to work on Monday morning.
I used to be a missionary in the sense of working for a missionary organisation. However since I started my current job I have had more opportunities to preach the gospel than at any other time. Our offices are field white for the harvest as Jesus puts it. We are living in exciting times and God has called specifically you to your work place for this period of time even if you are the cleaner you can make an impact. In my last role I did my fair share of cleaning, but it was in those moments of emptying the bins and filling the dishwasher that I met key people who I would now call friends and some of which I am investing time into.
You see you are different there will be things about you that people will already notice, lets face it if we start to explain how we live and our lifestyle it is totally alien to most of our colleagues. What do you mean you don't get drunk, lie, go home early, just to name a few things where you are probably already very different.
 Let me tell you, that they are craving for the kind of community and security and purpose that we enjoy.
So be that prophetic voice in your workplace how can you be different from how you have been up to now, a friend of mine challenged me to shine the other day and so that is going to be my goal from now on not promotion but shining bright so I have to give people a reason for why I seem to have a bright shining light around me, I am not there yet but it it is my aim. So some ways you can do this is by always being the one to brew up, being the one to stop back biting, offering another point of view, being the prophetic voice of affirmation and praise. These are just a few tips and I too need to put them into practice more often.

God is not our sugar daddy !

During a social media fast recently I felt God speak to me really clearly which set me off on a train of thought which results in this blog. It is so true when you take the distractions out of our lives such as social media. You can be left with a lot of time on your hands. Beyond this you are faced with yourself and those things you try to distract by social media that are your own sometimes painful realities. So one morning at the beginning of this media fast I had been faced with one of these painful realities ( that's perhaps for another time) and was struggling and thought to myself I could sure do with a quiet time right now but I was so busy, oh boy Jesus how . After a day of full activity I was sat on my bed and thought well I feel better I can't remember why I was struggling and I don't really need to spend time with God now. In that instance I had this revelation was that it, did I just go to God when I needed something or I was feeling down. I mean what kind of relationship is that? A very selfish that's one. Can you imagine how long a friendship, relationship or even a marriage would last if we only related with that person when we needed something.
The truth is our default when it comes to our relationship with God is to go to him when we need something and stay away when we have everything we need. Now this kind of relationship is the type a child would have with his father. Now there is nothing wrong with us having a relationship with God as our Dad because he certainly is our father and he does provide for us and meet our every need.

A sneak look at a revivalist

I have always really loved Wesley and even his contemporaries. I really believe they an amazing and revolutionary group of people. In many ways I aspire to be like them today. The back drop to which Westley and his contemporaries rose was an England that was under a lot of strain. Poverty was endemic in the poor class with people living in squalor and being addicted to alcohol in great measure and children having to earn a wage in terrible conditions at such an early age. The rest of Europe had seen revolutions but there had only been small outbreaks in Britain but  nothing like the French Revolution. The industrial revolution was just around the corner and Britsin ruled the waves with its Empire in many continents perhaps for the richer class life looked good but not for the poorer class. 
Furthermore the poorer classes were outlawed from Church buildings where the Anglican Church had become very middle class. I believe that all that Wesley stood for and did created a catalyst for doing things and seeing things differently in the future. Although Westley believed that he properly became a Christian after his encounter with God and a revelation of grace through meeting the Movarians. From reading about his history it sounds like he had a relationship with God even before this and he was already doing some incredible exploits being involved in social action even whilst he was at University, this seems to have continued throughout his life. 
It is true though that there is something incredible about his life after his grace encounter and it can not be denied that his anointing changed and became more powerful. When I think of how much he traveled by horse and the times he was ministering and working, I  have wondered to myself when did he get time for a quiet time when did he spend time with God. When did he have time to read the Bible and get fresh revelation to share with the people. How amazing was his wife and family that they managed to stay together even when he was away for weeks on end. The sacrifices that he made to share the gospel we're huge and extremely challenging. The type of open air preaching Westley did is reminiscent of Jesus and Paul's preaching right back at the very beginning. I've always wondered how did people hear him as there was no amplification of any type then, no wonder the people would climb trees to hear him, did the people who fell out die ? 

So not only did Wesley start the Methodist church by default by preaching to the poor but he was also involved in social reform which is something that is very close to my heart. As an evangelist and simply as a Christian it is vital that we preach the gospel for people to be added to the kingdom. Nonetheless we must not only preach good news but we must be good news getting involved in advocacy being a voice to the voiceless. I love the fact that he was involved in the Abolition of Slavery something very close to my heart. I often look like figures like Westley, Mullier and Wilberforce and think what am I doing with my life what kind of effect am I having. These people challenge me at my core they lead me to strive, push forward and always believe there is always more I could be doing. These people didnot make excuses and they caused some massive changes. With austerity it is time once again that we took our place as the Kingdom of God and affect the change and transformation of this nation. In a time when the welfare system, The NHS and other social nets are falling apart as the Children of God we cannot sit back and just wait for our ticket to heaven to be collected we must bring heaven to earth and make a difference being the good news to society because it really needs it right now! 

USMM - the journey so far......

I can't believe that I only have 2 months or so left until I finish USMM. I have had an amazing year so far it has been incredible. I have had the privilege of spending time with some awesome people. We have become such an amazing family, it has been great to hang out with these people I have learnt so much from them. I couldnt have spent this year with better people. I am sure we will all remain really good friends after we have finished this year.

So then the teaching from USMM has been so life changing. I thought I had heard everything and pretty much heard all the teaching I could. However tearning we have received could fit into two categories that which I heard when I was in youth with a mission and that which is totally new.

Repenting and renewing your mind and being reminded that the sprirtual realm is something which I learnt in YWAM however I have been reminded of this and it has been reiterated to me with greater ferocity.

The ideas that have spoken to me the most have been ecology. I feel like the Holy Spirit has been nudging me about the environment and ecology for a while but I have been putting it to the back of my mind. I remember when I was in the Methodist church how I was all into social action and I was aware of ecology but back then it wasn't talked about as much as it is now.  When Ruth Valerio came and taught us about God and Creation, she showed us the reality about the state of our world and it was really sobering and scary. She said in many ways it was too late to make a difference. This sciencetifically could be true but I have to believe that we can reverse it both practically and supernaturally.  That day I realised that being a Christian was so much more than I had ever thought before. I realised that each decison I make has a knock on effect on the rest of the world and this includes people's lives. This means that what I buy whether that be food or clothes really does matter.
The very fact that I buy some garment which is really cheap means that somewhere on the other side of the world someone is going to pay for my cheap lifestyle.  I was shocked in some ways how much of a consumer lifestyle I lead even going about and doing seemingly normal things. I would love to change my life over night but instead I have made it a priority. Before the course I would have left the environmental stuff up to the activist and greenpeace because we Christians had more important things to do. Now I realise that it is our responsibility and especially as Christians to lead the way in making the environment a priority. The truth is we only have one world. I have also come to realise that we were given this world to steward and furthermore the new heaven could even be on this actual earth. Sometimes I do wonder how God can save our planet when we have made such a hash of it. Nonetheless Jesus redeemed us and we are work in  progress as his love transforms us and if he can do it with us why can't he do it with them world after all creation was included in the redemption of the cross, this is something I have learnt on the course.

It all became clear why I had only come to this conclusion recently when we had a lecture about the history of Pentecostalism. I have been wondering for a while why pentecostal churches were not so concerned about social action or the environment and I wondered why. Through these lectures I realised that this was because Pentecostals had the theology of Jesus combing back really soon and we were going to be whisked away from this world. However we are still here and it looks like God wants us to make the best of this world and that means bothering about the environment and those around it. We are meant to rule and reign on this earth that was the plan originally and it hasn't changed.

I have a real sense now of what it practically means to rule and reign and build the kingdom of Jesus on the Earth creating heaven on earth how exciting :)