BRAVE!

Be Real And Victorious Every day!

BRAVE began quite a few years ago now when we were pastoring in Wales. It took a back seat for 6 years when we went back to Tanzania and when we began our time at Kingdom Life Church, Newcastle, it was re-born with the Acrostic coming into play!

I’m writing this on the day before our second conference here in Newcastle. The first was last September having been re-scheduled due to the first lock down. In fact, Boris locked us down on the Monday and BRAVE was due on the following Saturday! If you’ve ever organised a day conference, you will know it was awful to have to cancel! But, that’s water under the bridge!

What are conferences?

They’re an event! They’re a place where you can immerse yourself in an atmosphere that isn’t every day life. Hopefully it’s a place where you encounter God on a new level in a more intense way without the distractions of normal life. It’s a place to make new friends, to do something different – (BRAVE is definitely offering that this year! Not saying what quite yet!) If you’re not coming and want to know, drop me a line! (I won’t have to kill you if I tell you! Hahaha)

They are hard work. So much planning that begins months before, prayer, rooms to set up, things to order, teams to gather, treats to buy, messages to prepare, and the list could go on.

What conferences aren’t

They’re not the process of life. You can’t sustain yourself on conferences alone. They aren’t normal, you can’t run your life or your church on conferences. If athletes only did events, they wouldn’t be successful at all. Getting up every day – usually very early – to train, is what gives them successful events.

If you’re training yourself to be Godly, every day, conferences are an incredible addition to your Christian walk. If you’re not training yourself to be Godly, every day, conferences are an incredible chance to get back on track!

I’m humbled at the chance to lead a conference this weekend with an incredible team – couldn’t do it without them! One of my best friends is travelling on a plane from Africa at this very moment (7.00am Thursday) to speak and be part of our conference! Wow! (She will love the Friday night surprise!)

Thank you God. I pray that every delegate will first and foremost encounter you. I pray that every delegate will be set free to be the woman you are calling them to be. I pray that laughter will ring out from Kingdom Life Church – if you know me, you know there is going to be lots of fun!

If you’re coming, sign up for the ride! Don’t sit back, do something new, get stuck in, make new friends!

If you’re not coming, I will miss you! Maybe next year? Newcastle is an amazing city, Kingdom Life Church is a amazing church to pastor – thank you God (and Paul Hudson! – our boss) for giving us this incredible opportunity!

Hold onto your hats! BRAVE 2022 – Here we go!!! Woohoooooo!

D xx

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It’s a crazy, topsy Turvy world….

If you doubt that the media is controlling and agenda driven , then let me take you to the headlines on the 10.00pm BBC news, 30th July. The headline was the women’s England football team making the final of the women’s Euros.

Followed by the murder, stabbing of a nine year old girl.

I have no words. This world is under the control of the evil one. Of that, I have no doubt.

VICKY….. MY FRIEND, MY TRIBUTE…

 | DEBBULLOCK51

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Thinking of my friend 7 years on…..(I wrote this in August 2015)

On Saturday 25th July 2015, wherever you were in the world and if you loved and cherished Vicky Taylor as a friend or family member, our worlds were shattered. I was in Tanzania watching a movie with John. My messenger app pinged and nothing could have prepared me for the message I read.

“John, Deb. In case you have not heard, we have just seen the very sad news that Vicky Taylor has passed away today. I know you would want to know, to be praying for Al and the children. God Bless.”

 The person who sent us that will never know how eternally grateful I am that I knew before I read it on Face Book. I know that FB is a great place to let a lot of people know stuff but amongst status’ of what someone had for tea or where someone is on holiday, or wedding photos, it would have been very tough for me to read of such a close friend’s death because I had no idea such news was coming. So thank you to you.

Through my tears this is what I said over and over. ‘This can’t be true.’ I guess you said the same.

This is the first time I have lost a close friend and the pain is immense. Being 5000 miles away doesn’t help. I wanted and I think needed to laugh and cry with the Free- Range-Chick girls. I wanted to be at the funeral. I wanted to hug Al and the kids and I couldn’t. Thanks goes out again to friends who called and messaged, for those who I laughed with during those horrendous early days. Facebook was a friend to me during that time and continues to be.

The last time I saw her was at the end of January this year at a Free Range Chick’s retreat. I flew out to Tanzania the week after that and if anyone would have told me that that would be the last time I would see her this side of heaven, I would never have believed it.

I first met Vicky at the Elim conference – it must be over 10 years ago now. I was a pastor’s wife in Wales and I had heard about Vick so wanted her to come and speak at our church ladies’ weekend. She was running Life Link (an organisation that raised money for missions) at the time and it won’t surprise those of you who knew her that she was running around, red in the face in her blue Life Linkt-shirt sorting out an event for the conference. After that initial meeting, we became great friends. I never saw her angry, or sad – her smile would greet you across the room and laughter was always high on the agenda even when her world was crumbling at times – and she did have those times.

If anyone were to ask me who is one of my greatest influencers, it would be Vicky. I know so many would say the same. She helped me believe in myself, we did so much stuff together including women’s conferences and SUMO training. The SUMO training event holds a memory! We shared a room and her snoring was sooooo bad, I ended up sleeping in the bath! I’ll never forget seeing her come into the bathroom the following morning and we laughed for a long time. We would meet for coffee/lunch in Marks and Spencer’s at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol and we would talk for hours. She always made me think and I think I did the same for her.

I was at the very first Free-Range Chicks conference and I still don’t know how this came about but she asked me to sing the Shania Twain song, Man, I feel like a woman at the banquet. There we were all dressed in our poshest dresses ready for a lovely evening of wining and dining. I had NEVER done anything like this before in such a setting and, to be honest, I was very nervous! I didn’t know how it was going to go down and I wondered whether I’d be kicked out of our denomination for it! (Not really, but I think it crossed my mind!) There were some older ladies there from Elim and I just didn’t know if they’d get it! Let’s face it, it’s and unusual song choice for a ladies conference, right? Maybe they’d walk out? Anyway, the time came and within the first few beats of the song, it took off! I loved it, they loved it and I ‘forgave’ Vick for making me do it!! I’ve sung it at a few women’s events since then and it’s all down you to my friend…Thanks!

If your passing was the end, I’m not sure how a lot us would carry on especially Al, Abi, Luke, Jon and Sam – you were an amazing friend, wife, mum, aunty, sister and cousin. I am so very grateful that Jesus was the reason we met and that Jesus is the reason we will see you again – what a party that will be – do you think I could sing, ‘Man, I feel like a woman??’ My heart is at rest because I know thattruth but still, for now, this truth remains:

My world will be a little less because you are gone from it.

See you later Vick……

Deb x

How dare you take salvation for granted….

A letter from God,

I gave my son for you

His back was lashed to the bone, a crown of thorns was placed on his head, nails were hammered into his hands and feet and then, after all that, he took the sin of the whole world and I forsook him for a while…

So many people don’t know my son yet… your friends, your family, your work colleagues, government leaders, tv presenters and so on….

You do know my son, you are going to live in Paradise forever and ever. I, God Almighty gave birth to the church of Jesus Christ and I – God Almighty ask you, my children, through my leaders, the ones I have called, to serve the church, many of you say no. I ask you to work with kids, youth, coffee, tea, cleaning, you say no, I ask you to pray and so many of you say no, I ask you to do the works of service within the church and many of you say no, I ask you to live a sexually moral life and many of you say no, I ask you not to commit adultery and too many of you say no. I need you to do better. So many people don’t know my son yet and so I’m asking you that do, to represent me better.

Please

Your Father, God x

Conditioned

While elephants are still babies and they need to be trained, their trainers tie them to a steak in the ground with rope that they cannot break free from. As the elephant grows, they are still tied with the same type of rope, only this time, they could absolutely snap the rope and go free. Why don’t they break free? Because, after so many attempts when they couldn’t break free because the rope was too strong, now they just believe that they can’t.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and, if you’ve had a conversation with me this week, you’ve probably heard me share the elephant story!

One of the things that we have been conditioned in is Covid. Today (Thursday 24th March) marks two years to the day that we were ordered to stay at home for three weeks!? – I know, right! I heard someone call it the ‘good lock down’ and I understand what he meant. It was new, novel and gave us all a chance to live life differently, no-one would ever have thought that we would still be living with it today.

Please understand that what am I about to say is regarding the BIG picture, so don’t take it personally and don’t take offense. Only you know your own body and what is needed when sickness strikes.  But I must say what I find interesting now is, we’re no longer being ordered to stay at home, wear masks or even self-isolate if we test positive, yet so many people are still doing the things that were once mandatory. We were tied to a steak in the ground two years ago and, many people don’t believe or don’t want to believe that we are no longer tied. Is it fear? Is it conditioning? Is it wise? Of course, in some instances, the right thing is to stay at home, we all know our own bodies and what we need, plus no -one wants you coughing or sneezing over them! Please stay home! Haha!

Covid is just one example of many that we can use in this analogy. A fear of flying, driving, heights, lifts, shyness, sickness, habits, barrenness and on and on we go.

All these things are genuine ropes, but in Christ, they are breakable. If we are conditioned to a belief system that tells us that our rope isn’t breakable, we stand tied – possibly for life.

Let’s flip it on its head, what if your rope is something you’d like to do or should be doing but you don’t think you can – eating well, exercise, bible study, prayer – you’ve tried to break free from ill-discipline and apathy, you’ve tried it so many times and failed that you’ve just accepted that you can’t move.

What do we do? We must be transformed in our thinking. So, if you’re fearful of driving in the dark or on a motorway. Ask a friend to go with you, just do it. If you’re scared of getting in a lift, ask a friend to go with you, just do it! You will be amazed, and you will never look back. Once a barrier is broken, it is broken forever. Once you snap the rope, it will be snapped forever. If you’re longing for a baby, believe, then act (I won’t go into detail with the acting here! Suffice to say, you’re not going to have a baby if you don’t act! I have prayed with many couples to get pregnant and can testify to results, after I have prayed, I always say, now go and practice!

Once you believe, you will act. It happens that way round. Believe then act!

You have 2 paths to choose from – the wide path where you let all the ropes you have keep you pinned in one place or the narrow path where you’re making decisions to cut the ropes and enjoy the life that Jesus died to give you. Which path is easier? The wide one! It’s much easier to stay tied to the steak than it is to go on a journey to break chains. Which path is freer? The narrow one! It’s on this path that you will fly in all the freedoms that are yours in Christ. Which path are you on? If you need to switch lanes, just do it.

Until next time, D xx

God drew your blueprint

What is a blueprint? It’s a plan that is complete and fixed and prepared before a foundation or a brick is put in place. A house, for example, is ‘built’ on the drawings of a blueprint before a brick is laid. I only found this out recently and it got me thinking.

Imagine a room – a very large room filled with filing cabinets from floor to ceiling and in these filing cabinets are the blueprints for everyone’s life, written up by God Almighty. Complete, fixed and prepared.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

You are not a mistake.

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

It’s not how we were conceived, but why. Everyone has a blueprint from God. Unfortunately for most, if not all, humans, it takes us time to get on the same page as God. Some of us come to him as children and some as adults. The older we are, the likelihood is, that we’ve messed up our original blueprint and there is serious clearing up to do. It’s also sad to say that even when we do get on the right page, in other words, get born again, we sometimes still ignore our blueprint and do our own thing – wrong choices; sin; adultery; pornography; apathy towards spiritual discipline and so on. We inadvertently say to God, thanks, but no thanks, I’ll make my own blueprint.

Man began this journey thousands of years ago:

For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh

We said, ‘no thanks, we’ll do it our way.’ Look where that got us.

God’s intent on the right, then we took over!

God has a blueprint for you – have you screwed it up and shoved it in a drawer somewhere? Are you trying to work it out yourself? Get back to the blueprint. Go and get it out of the drawer. God’s blueprint is dependable and perfect for you.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

You have a 100% chance of making it in life, if you follow His blueprint. He’ll be there for the bumps in the road too. So, if you took a pen and changed his plan, go and get an eraser – rub your plans out and stick with Him.


I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

P.S Thanks to Bill Green and Josua Omo for bringing the blueprint words into our church which helped me write this blog!

Please feel free to share and subscribe to my blog – if you enjoy it!

Until next time, D x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop the world, i want to get off!

What a crazy, sad, devastating world we are living in right now. There are so many things, at personal and world levels, that could cause us to say, ‘we want to get off’ even more so if you don’t know the Saviour, in fact, I’ll go as far as to say, I’m not sure how anyone is coping without faith. If that’s you and you’d like to know more, please get in touch, nothing would thrill me more.

For us who do know Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour, there is no reason for us to ‘want to get off’ We just have to keep our eyes on Him. NOTHING that is going on is catching him out. And, even though the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19) The end of time, the big picture, is firmly in the hands of God Almighty. And that will only happen when HE says so.

Look what Jesus said in Luke’s gospel:  “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (12:32) It’s a Kingdom that cannot be shaken! (Heb 12:28) Jesus spoke about this Kingdom many times while he was on earth. An alternative way to live and approach our lives. Of course, as is always the case, we have a choice whether to live there or not. That’s up to us. Jesus is the only firm foundation, but we have to choose to build on him or not.

I read a great verse in 2 Cor 10 this morning. Verse 7 says,  ‘Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.’

What a great verse! What’s before your eyes today? What are you seeing around you? Maybe it’s sickness, maybe it’s financial or relational (the three usual areas) Maybe you’re overwhelmed with world events. But, if you are confident that you are Christ’s, you can overcome anything! We’re not promised a world without trouble, but we have one inside of us who gives us the power the overcome that trouble.

And, the ultimate bottom line is, if we are heading to the end of the world – and I’m not saying we are, but it will certainly come one day – those of us who are Christ’s, are going to live in a place that is beyond our imaginations, paradise – FOREVER.

If things have got on top of you, push them off and go to the rock that is higher than you. Things always look better when you look down on them. Be bold, be strong, for the Lord your God is with you! (if you’re a certain age, there’s a song there!)

Until next time! D x

Don’t let the thought of ‘goodbye’ hold you back

If you’ve read much of my stuff before, you will know that I am a big cheerleader of the John 10:10 life. Of course, I believe that Jesus died ultimately for us to spend eternity with him – no tears, no pain, no death, no sickness, no lack, ever, ever again!! Do you ever think about that day? It’s going to be incredible (that word doesn’t do it justice) I, for one, will do cartwheels, who’s joining me? 

But, I also believe that Jesus died for us to have an adventure before that day comes. If not, he’d have whisked us off to heaven on the day we said ‘yes’ to him. If you’ve ever watched adventure movies, you’ll know that the adventurous life isn’t a life without storms, fighting or drama – it’s not just about the romance, the happy ending and that ‘at last’ kiss that we girls long for (Pride and Prejudice comes to my mind!). 

The point is, it’s full, exciting and not dull. I think it should be the same way for those of us who have put our faith in the Son of God, in the creator of the whole universe who chose to live in us, by his Spirit. Beware though, the adventure might mean you have to make saying, ‘goodbye’ a regular feature in your life. For us, we have had that life, and, to a lesser degree, still do. Our family lives in the South and we live in the North East because this is where God has brought us for our adventure to continue.

We began the ‘goodbye’ journey back in the late 90’s when we first moved to Tanzania with our six and seven-year-olds in tow. Everyone was fine until the moment came to leave for the airport, then we all lost it! It was tough. 

When we went back to Tanzania in 2014, we had to say ‘goodbyes’ to our kids and their spouses and, to be honest, every time, got a little harder!  Of course, modern technology made it easier for us to be in touch, plus the fact that we were mostly only away for a few months at a time, but even so, it was still difficult. 

We’ve just returned from a few days at Center Parcs with our kids and grandkids, and it prompted this blog as I couldn’t help but remember the following story! 

One of the last times we said goodbye to our kids was around 2018 and we’d just had a great few days at center parcs, and within a few days we would be back in Africa. The tears came before I’d even got to the car. It was tough. However, when we landed in Tanzania,  I felt God talking to me about this side (the goodbyes) of the adventure and that it’s all part of it. If we’d never said goodbye to familiarity back in 1998, we would never have experienced the 1000’s of hellos that we have since that day. 

If we want new ‘hellos’, it might mean some ‘goodbyes’. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you should all up and emigrate, (unless you want to, then do it), but I am encouraging you to find some new ‘hellos’. Ask yourself the question, when was the last time you said ‘hello’ to someone new? If it’s been a while, then I think you’re missing out. Get out there; there are a whole host of people to meet and to influence. We met and continue to meet some great people that we never knew existed, but we already know many of the people that we have met along our journey are life-long friends. Increase your circle and you will increase your life. Don’t let the thought of goodbye, hold you back. 

There are adventures to be lived.

Hold the line!

I really love the phrase, ‘Hold the Line’.  I’ve read it a lot over the last few weeks especially regarding the NHS compulsory vaccine case. Whatever we all think about this and there will be many different opinions, the NHS staff went all out to make their voices heard, they held their line, and they won. ‘Hold the line ‘gives a sense of togetherness, camaraderie and, ‘we’re in this together!’

Now, sometimes, ‘holding the line’ can feel like this:

When life is glorious, you’ve got your devotional times sorted and you feel like you’re on a direct line to Jesus, eating healthily is going brilliantly, the scales are going in the right direction, the kids are good, husband’s good, cat’s good, job’s good and so on! ‘hold the line?’ what line??

Other times ‘holding the line’ can feel like:

When the opposite of the meadow is happening – chocolate’s going down by the bucketload, cat’s being sick, kids are being sick and the washing machine is on the blink! You don’t even know where your Bible is! Life is hectic!

The everyday line, the daily challenges of life that we all have to face. Sometimes, they are our own to bare and at other times, we meant to carry one another’s burdens. 

In Galatians 6: 2- 5, we read:

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. For each will have to bear his own load.

When you first read those verses, they seem like a contradiction, ‘Bear one another’s burdens’, ‘bear his own load’ which is it? Well, it’s both. We all have things that are ours to carry – our backpack, if you like. These are your responsibilities that you can’t hand on to anyone else. For example, if you’ve got kids in school, it’s your job to make their packed lunches, you don’t ring a friend to do that do you? It’s part of your job description. 

And there are times when the burdens are to be shared with others. When what we’re going through, needs our mates to help. 

Then there are other lines, the ‘What would Jesus think’ lines. How we speak, what we read, what we watch, what habits we form, how we spend our time?

I want to suggest to us then that we have many lines in our lives and ask the question, how often do your/my lines drop below how Jesus would want us to live our lives?  I want to hold better lines and I trust you do too. 

Let’s imagine we have a line for the various parts of our lives

Is it possible to get to the end of each day and ask ourselves the question, how did I do with my lines today?

My attitude line; My health line; My time line; My Patience line; My giving line; My depression line; My anxiety line etc.

We have so many lines in our lives and our aim should be to get them as straight as we can. 

If you feel like some or even all of your lines are like are wonky, pick one to work on, if you need help, phone a friend! Find someone who you can be accountable to. Our aim in life should be to become more like Jesus every day! Staying close to Him gives you more of a chance of that. If you never spend time with him, your lines will be wonky! You might be content with wonky, but if you’re not, pick a wonky line and determine to get it straight. 

Until next time,

Dx