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.

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 :)

Life ever after

For some time now I've been thinking and even dreaming about heaven. I am very aware that my tendency especially as a person who likes to get involved in mission is to think about the here and now and forget about life ever after. These thoughts have been fuelled by by the course I am doing at the moment which has really delved into the questions of what are we here for and what is it all about. I hear some of you saying well it's all about Jesus and the Kingdom and of course I would agree with you but as this is unpicked you realise that this is an absolutely massive subject. 

So I want to start from some way off ideas and state the obvious. I think we often assume we know what we think about things and actually when we go a little bit deeper we have merely swallowed what someone has taught us and it became part of what we believe. So what are we here for ? 

God created for relationship with himself and with each other. So most of us are on this earth for around 80-90 years. But then what, why on earth would a loving God just create us for that time. Forgive me I am very much thinking out loud. Even from a non faith point of view what would be the point of it all if that was all we had 80-90 years it isn't very long at all. Ok then so now let's think of it from a believers point of view. We often have the mentality that we live life on this earth and then we go to a place called heaven where it's like starting again in a reality we know nothing about in a kind of cosmic spiritual cloud party which to an extrovert kind of sounds like torture . To be honest this kind of heaven didnot really excite me. However as I have done this course I have found that heaven is actually exciting if we change the way we think about it. Going back to the idea that we live on earth for 80-90 years and then that's it off to heaven let me park these ideas for a minute and go back to the beginning. 

So God created heaven as a place for him to be in relationship with us very much like Adam and Eve in the garden where they were commanded to go out and subdue it the earth and be fruitful but sadly they stuffed it up. What if the plan hadn't changed and heaven is an opportunity to live once again in a place where we live in relationship with God again without any hindrances this time. What if that place was actually earth. We tend to have this view that earth is evil and it is a sinking ship that we need to get off as soon as possible and as Jesus has rescued us we can be shipped off to heaven right? 

This kind of thinking makes us almost forget about this earth. We think of heaven as a place somewhere far off in another galaxy or dimension even. What if heaven was right here, now hear me right I am not saying that the earth as we have it is heaven right now because we know that is just not true. There is still plenty disease sickness and suffering. Nonetheless Jesus is able to redeem all things then why not the whole of creation. In romans it says that all creation waits for the sons of God to be revealed why would creation be bothered about the sons of God being revealed if the whole redemption plan didn't include creation too. I know there is lots of rubbish going on and this world we live in is fallen but I do believe that we can see the fingerprints of God all over. For that matter if you take a look at the universe and even our earth the place we call home you have to admit there are elements that are totally beautiful even if you do see bad stuff as well.  I do love this world and I see the beauty of its designer all over it. It as well us is a masterpiece and God is the greatest artist there ever has or will be. 
Therefore why would God rub it all out and start again when he created everything he said it was good this hang changed but of course as it stands at the moment it is tarnished this I can't deny. Neither can I pretend to know what heaven is going to look like but I suspect it looks a bit more like our world than we are expecting and it might actually be our world but just the redeemed best version ever possible. Whilst in relationship of with the lover of our soul Jesus together with all the beauty and great things that man and God have ever invented that are inherently good for us to enjoy forever and ever.