Thursday, 31 May 2007

A little encourager from Max Lucado

"You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God" 1 Peter 2:9

Make your heavenly father proud. Use your uniqueness to do so. You exited the womb called. Don't see yourself as a product of your parents' DNA, but rather as a brand-new idea from heaven.

Make a big deal out of God. Become who you are in him! Has he not transferred you from a dull, death-destined life to a rich, heaven-bound adventure? Remember,''You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God.'' And do so every day of your life.

With God, every day matters, every person counts. And that includes you.

(Originally by Max Lucado)

Friday, 18 May 2007

More on Loud in Derry

If you read the earlier post about Loud in Derry then please re-read it! We've changed the venue, so that now the evening event will be happening in the bigger and better Millenium Forum!

The evening starts at 6.00pm and admission is just £5, (we've had to put it up £1 for the new venue). For full details of the programme for the afternoon and evening visit: or our Mannafest pages

Monday, 14 May 2007


Well as prophesied (?) in my last post, it was indeed an amazing night. A series of readings on the theme of loving and serving others set the tone for the night. A few people then talked about how they were serving God in their local communities, and encouraged others to follow their example. The most amazing bit came next, when the stage was given over to young people to share what was on their hearts.

First up was a girl who talked of how she had chosen to do work experience with her minister despite some opposition from family. Her message? If God calls you to do something that seems a bit scary, don't be put off doing it, He is faithful! Next a youth leader brought up another girl who had been a Christian for just 2 months: in September they had brought 2 young people from their youth and this month they had brought 20.
A younger girl then shared how excited she had been when she prayed for a friend who had then become a christian. Another girl who had brought non-christian friends to Mannafest and they said they could feel God at it.
A young guy who had only been a christian for a few months shared how real God is to him now, and how his life had been transformed. In fact what was really cool was that three of the people who spoke had only been christians for a matter of months, yet here they were prepared to stand up and share in front of a large crowd how God is working in their lives.

Three other girls talked about how they had followed through on last month's message and made some space in their life to take some time out with God.
Biggest cheer of the night was reserved for a girl who told everyone "You're not defined by what you are called by bullies." For 15 years she had suffered name-calling, but loving Christian friends had helped her to see herself as God sees her - precious and loved. Throughout this time other young people were praying over their friends around the hall.

What did it all teach me? It reminded me that there are "super-christians" but they aren't usually on platforms, they're out there in the schools, in the streets, living the life and walking the walk. And I had the privilege of being with them on Saturday night!

Friday, 11 May 2007

It's Mannafest weekend, woohoo!

Getting excited about Mannafest this weekend. In Enniskillen the speaker is Joshua Jones, YFC Enniskillen's recently appointed full-time youth worker. Josh comes to YFC from the USA, via France, a really capable and committed guy, so that'll be great. Then tomorrow in Spires in Belfast we're having a DIY night, on the theme of "Service." We won't have a main speaker, instead it's a night packed with short talks, interviews, prayer times, all led by our own staff, volunteers and Mannafesters. We haven't had a true DIY night for a few years now, but in the past they were always special. There's an authenticity about them which you can relate to. Sometimes the "super-christian," yes I know there's no such thing, but sometimes the super-christian big speaker tells you stuff, and you just think, yeah, that's OK for you to say, I've never met you, I don't know if that's real in your life or just a load of wishful thinking. And it's just brilliant to hear how God works in the lives of people around us... can't wait!

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Mannafest goes (North)West

Something we're getting excited about here is June's Mannafest (not that May's will be unexciting!). The Saturday night isn't going to be in Belfast, instead on 2nd June we're all heading up to the Millenium Forum in Londonderry, for a totally unique Mannafest. Working with local churches we're incorporating it into a special day to be called "Loud in Derry" (see what we did there?). It's really exciting because we've been wanting to do more in the North West for ages, but we just haven't been able to spare the resources. However God has now brought people together with a shared vision, and as you know, when God calls, you follow!

If you're within 50 miles of the Millenium Forum, plan to be with us! Or if you're a Mannafest regular you can come to the May event and sign up to come and help/participate in June. You can get more details of the programme for the day on our website here

(Post edited 18th May to include new venue details)

Tuesday, 1 May 2007


Isn't it good to know that God's work in us, although eternally finished, is a work that is ongoing in our normal lives. In the Bible, I love the way God is so creative in how he communicates this to us, using pictures, like when he told Jeremiah to go down to the Potter's house and watch him mould and shape the clay (God could have just said, you are like clay, I am a potter, but he didn't he told Jeremiah to go and see it with his eyes...pretty good visual aid if you ask me), or in Ephesians when we are called God's masterpiece, the imagery of a "work of art" (Greek word for Craftmanship).
For years I have been trying to get fit, using all the quick fixs available but they never last. The same is true at times of my spiritual life, I'll read the latest book or attend the biggest events trying to get myself spiritually fit but again it never lasts. What I have been learning is that change takes time and that's something that I think God would agree with. God is the one who is doing the work in us and we have to trust that in his time he will change and transform us, yes we are part of the process is how much we make ourselves available to him to do this, but I don't think God is ever in a rush.
I have been discipling young people now for years and I have noticed that here in Northern Ireland most Christian Transformation is external, change of living standards, dress, friends etc, yet the change God brings in our lives is deeper, rooted in Him and with the goal of making us more like Jesus.
This thought has wrecked my brain for years, what does it mean 'to be more like Jesus?'
I get that it is not about growing a beard and wearing sandals, but what I struggle with, is that to me, this has more to do with mission than it has behaviour and thought pattern.

Jesus, the holy Son of God, three times Holy (Isaiah 6) perfect in holiness and yet in his life and ministry could not be separated from sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, terrorists, fishermen, women, children, lepers, disabled people. I guess what I mean is this, lots of people think Holiness is about becoming more set apart and so as we become 'more like Jesus' we should become more spiritual, more set apart, and get shinier halos and yet even a glance through the Gospels would contradict this from watching the life of Jesus.
All useless thoughts and information, but here is an attempt at a conclusion
  1. Becoming more like Jesus means loving people (all people, regardless of background, history, beliefs, sex, age, colour)
  2. Becoming more like Jesus means engaging in people's lives. (it is easy to say that we love people, all people, but this should begin to be worked out and reflected through our lives.)
  3. Becoming more like Jesus means thats we live by His teachings, follow Him as our Lord, obey His call and make a difference in with our lives.
Is this true, is it biblical? It is afterall just a collection of thoughts. The journey continues...because today God continues to shape us like a potter and pour over us as a painter over his work of art.
Have a blessed day.
Steven McC