Winter Update

Hi all,

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and to follow all that we are doing. Below we have attached the quarterly news letter that James produces for the youth work that he is doing. 

We have now moved home and live in a lovely little clay village (not actually made of clay) called Bugle which is just outside St Austell. We are very blessed and God has given us a lovely home and we are truely thankful for this. 

Lydia continues to work for Karrek community helping to support those in need and she does an amazing job. Her heart is constantly stirred to do more Art Work and your prayers in this would be appreciated greatly. 

We thank you for all your love and support and feel very blessed to have a family like you. 

All our Love,

The Greenes

Live in the Freedom of Truth

Hi all,

Below I have attached a link to my latest sermon. For so many of us Gods truth has been distorted or completed destroyed and we now live a life of hurt, pain, striving, all because we believe lies about ourselves that aren’t true.

God desires for you to know His truth that you are beautiful and loved not matter what, he is for you. It’s not about you but Him and He has made away for you to enter His Peace.

Embracing God’s Love

God Bless,

The Greenes

 

 

9 Sins the Church Is Surprisingly OK With as Long as You Love Jesus

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT WRITTEN BY ME, I READ IT AND THOUGHT IT WAS VERY CHALLENGING AND THOUGHT PROVOKING AND WANTED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU. THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN BY FRANK POWELL.

I was in an engineering class the first time I watched the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Even though I wasn’t alive when it happened, I caught a glimpse of the horror thousands must have felt as the events unfolded.

And, the first question everyone wanted to know was, “What happened?”

After months of investigation, here’s what the Rogers Commission (the group commissioned to investigate the explosion) discovered: An o-ring seal in the right solid rocket booster failed at take-off. I won’t bore you with the details, but an o-ring is a small device relative to the size of a space shuttle. Very small.

It wasn’t something huge, like a puncture in the rocket booster or a hole in the cabin, that caused this disaster. It was a small, seemingly insignificant, o-ring failure.

I think there’s a lesson here for the church. What if the big sins, you know the ones you try hardest to avoid, aren’t the greatest threat to your joy and the church’s mission?

Maybe it’s the sins lying underneath, the ones considered normal or acceptable, the ones going undetected, that are affecting the church the most. I want to address nine of these sins.

1.) FEAR

The phrases “do not fear” and “do not be afraid” appear 365 times in the Bible. Ironic? I think not. And here’s what I think the church misses about fear. Let me pose this as a question. What is the opposite of fear? Courage? Bravery? William Wallace?

Wrong. Wrong. And right, but you’re ruining my point.

The opposite of fear is…LOVE. Add to this the reality that God is love. So, according to the Transitive property of mathematics, the opposite of fear is…God.

If you’re a child of God, the one sin that shouldn’t plague you is…fear.

Yet, Christians are the most fearful people on earth. Even our salvation is rooted in fear. Does it bother anyone that the primary method of bringing people to Jesus has been to scare them away from hell?

That’s fear language, the antithesis of God. Look at what John says.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

The church is scared to make decisions out of fear. Christians are hesitant to step into dangerous situations out of fear. The catalyst for our obedience is fear. Where’s the love?

Several weeks ago, I decided to remove the words “fear, scared and terrified” from my vocabulary. Maybe you should do the same. It could change how you see the world. And God.

2.) APATHY

Apathy’s best friends are passivity and entitlement. Together, they’re a vicious threesome.

There’s nothing mediocre or normal about God. His power is beyond comprehension. His beauty is beyond description. His love is beyond measure. The same God who created the universe and formed stars desires a relationship with you.

Yet, the attitude is often, “OK, God loves me. That’s great. What’s for lunch?” No. You don’t get it, bro. God loves you. And you’re content with, “That’s great.”

What?!

Our apathetic approach to God explains a lot about why people in America aren’t lining up to become Christians.

I mean, think about it. How many Christians have you met that left you thinking, “Wow, I want to be like them?” But this should be the norm, right? Am I way off here? Shouldn’t you be so transformed by God that people want to ask about your life, even if they hate God?

In Scripture, when men and women truly experience God, everything changes. Everything. So, that begs the question, “Have you experienced God?”

3.) GLUTTONY

In my younger days, I would literally eat myself sick. I mean, if I ordered food, I ate all of it. Period. Naturally, this presented a problem when I ate buffets.

Looking back, I see that my attitude was gluttonous. And the gluttony wasn’t that I ate myself sick. It was that I used a gift God gave me on myself…in excess.

Gluttony is primarily about the heart. It’s a craving for excess. Gluttony says, “Those voids God is supposed to fill…don’t worry about that. I will fill them.” Gluttony happens when you lose your awe of God. You see, as long as your eyes are fixed on Jesus, your heart’s desire is for him.

Is the world not desperate for this message? As we gorge our stomachs with food and flood our houses with trinkets, our discontent only increases.

Where are the Jesus followers who will fix their eyes completely on him, throwing away anything that treads the line between want and need? Where are the Christians who will feast in excess on God?

4.) WORRY

The great philosopher Van Wilder once said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” That’s right. But Van Wilder isn’t the only one who talked about worry. Jesus said you shouldn’t worry about anything (Matt. 6:25-34). But Jesus wasn’t serious was he? I mean, really Jesus? Anything?

He was serious. You see, worrying is symptomatic of a larger issue…lack of faith. And for followers of Jesus whose primary mission is to show the glory and nature of God to the world, worrying is a problem.

Recently, I asked a good friend why worry plagues the church, and he said something profound, “My greatest concern is that we don’t want to need God. We’re Americans. We’re independent.”

That’s hard-hitting stuff right there.


Americans will do anything to maintain the illusion of control and responsibility, so no wonder worry plagues us. Worry is the by-product of bearing a weight only God can bear.

Do you see the irony here? The more independence you desire, the more worry you will experience. So, why not give everything to God and let his peace reign over your life?

5.) FLATTERY

I erased this like five times, but God kept telling me to put it back. So, I did. With hesitancy. I love you, God.

I like performing. I always have. And while there’s nothing wrong with the spotlight, there’s a lot wrong with making yourself the center of it.

If your identity is tied to man’s praise, you’ll be eternally discontent. People are fickle. They’re here today and gone tomorrow. They’re for you one day, against you the next. They love you when you agree with them, dislike you when you don’t.

Yet, we love human praise, at least I do. Exhibit A: Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook. While I love social media, they’re also platforms that perpetuate flattery. You post pictures about your life hoping the world will “like” it. Who cares if it’s not the real you? You need the approval. So, even if you need 30 minutes to find that perfect selfie, it’s worth the time.

Jesus, however, didn’t need the praise and glory of men. He didn’t care what they thought. His only concern was doing the will of God. This attitude is what the world is desperate to see.

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to point people to Jesus if you need their approval.

And when you need the approval of others, your life will have more ups and downs than the Goliath at Six Flags in Atlanta.

I rode that beast. I know.

6.) COMFORT

Comfort might be the patriarch of the “church approved” sins family. When the church becomes comfortable, Christianity starts to die.

Christians must be extremely intentional with their thoughts and actions to avoid comfort. If not, you become resistant to change. You start making secondary issues primary. You begin to see the mission as catering to insiders rather than reaching outsiders.

And here’s the thing about the sin of comfort. Once it shows up, it’s extremely difficult to remove. When you challenge comfort, people don’t just get angry. They get fightin’ mad. Comfort will even tell you to crucify an innocent man.

The church can’t be missional and comfortable at the same time. It’s time to make a decision.

7.) CONSUMERISM

I grew up watching Sesame Street. My favorite character?…Cookie Monster. I felt like we were the same person. And what I mean is we both loved cookies. I would often go around the house saying, “Gimme da cookies.”

It never worked.

Many Christians are like Cookie Monster. Their mantra is, “Gimme more…well anything. Just give me more. More. More. More.”

The essence of this sin is a false understanding of God, that God is a taker. But nothing could be further from the truth. God is a giver. He’s the Giver. And, as a man or woman created in his image, you should be a giver.

So, what are you creating? What are you giving back to the world? What are giving back to others?

8.) PATRIOTISM

Cue the nasty emails. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t picture Jesus waving an American flag while showing off his “I love ‘Merica” tattoo. Jesus wasn’t against the government. In fact, if you’re a Jesus follower, the Bible calls you to pray for your nation and for your leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-4). But Jesus was very clear about how God’s name would become famous throughout the world…the church. Not the government. Not a nation. The church.

When your allegiance is torn between your country and your God, American ideals begin to shape your faith more than God. And you transpose American values onto God, believing God would be an American and think like an American.

Celebrate American values. That’s great. But, at the end of the day, your citizenship is not with America. It’s in heaven.

9.) LYING

If gluttony is the elephant in the room everyone sees, but no one talks about, lying is the elephant in the room no one sees. Lying is so socially acceptable, even in Christian circles, that it often goes undetected. We’re desensitized to it.

And here’s why this is dangerous for Christians.

There’s a rarely-discussed passage in Matthew 5:33-37 where Jesus confronts the Pharisees about oaths. Most Americans only hear the word oath when a celebrity lies in court (under oath). But Jesus isn’t talking about oaths in this passage.

He’s talking about INTEGRITY.

Here’s what Jesus is saying. You should live with such high integrity that your word doesn’t need attachments to make it legitimate. So, typical phrases like, “I promise,” “I swear” and “I put it on my mom’s grave” should never come from your mouth.

“Frank, c’mon on man. Are you interpreting that correctly? Say you promise.”

These words are a kick in the pants, right? If you’re like me, you say things all the time and never follow through. You lie to make yourself sound better. You lie to stay out of trouble. You lie to get ahead. Sometimes you lie just to lie.

Jesus says there’s no place for that if you’re a Christian. Your word matters. If you say something, God expects you to do it. It’s better to tell the truth and lose your job than lie and keep it.

How serious is this? Jesus says anything more than our word is from the evil one, Satan. That’s real.

______________

Sometimes the undetected sins are the most toxic. My hope is you will see this as an opportunity to grow. I also realize there are some “church approved” sins I didn’t mention. It’s your turn.



For Our Good, For His Glory

There was a point in time when striving was the season and gaining Gods love was the reason. The trail, the daily battle and the struggle to hold off the vanity and pride that engulfed me. To believe that my day was good or bad dependant on my own efforts and and believing in a system whereby God would make me more or less prosperous depending on my good deeds and how well I had done. This can readily be referred to as earth up, what I do to gain Gods favour and Love (the irony here being that I am striving to earn what I have already FREELY been given) not the heaven down life which is free from striving and leaves one free to be loved and to love in return (Moulin Rouge, come what may and all that Jazz – oops thats Chicago).

My life was lived in a series of ups followed by bigger downs and then the ups needed to be bigger to get me up gain but the downs were always much greater. If it sounds like a drug addict then thats because it was, I needed affirmation of who I was and I needed it through what I was doing. To be accepted, be good enough, be liked was the order of the day and I needed this hit daily otherwise I couldn’t cope. But like any addict the voices were always there niggling away at me “you’re not good enough” they would say, “that person is more blessed that you, they are better” would be the regular call. When these voices became to much I ran into myself and hid from the world, isolation was my only friend, the only one I trusted but its was my prison, my cell, my deep deep hole in the ground.

Lydia would regularly try and draw me back but she in truth was just waiting for the next high and was living a life with an individual living a selfish life. She is a source of strengthen to me and is a constant in my life, a rock that I hold on to and I am eternally grateful that God blessed me with her. What a love He must have for me that he allows me to be loved by Lydia and to love her back, she teaches me so much by the way she lives her life.

I had been to South Africa and back again still striving, looking for identity and purpose but all the while listening to the wrong voices and looking own the wrong places. What I did would define me but I was so in fear of losing it all, God was ready and poised to strike and deal me a knock out blow – “He’s against me!” my thought screamed, “Why would he love you for who you are?” “You need to earn His love” were the powerful lies I lived under. I was living under a cloud of inferiority and rejection, a real orphan child instead of the prince that God had died to save.

Lies, when believed become powerful and the longer they are acted upon the more entrenched they become, the axe sharpens and day by day it gets harder to be, the chains grow heavy and taking just the slights step becomes an excruciating exercise. You simply stop and wait, what are you waiting for? You need to snap out of it and get a grip. No one will help you, just help yourself. They all sound like great advice but they are traps that keep one living in a world where they will never be able to.

So down to Cornwall to continue my joyless existence, how did it all get like this? How can this be the life God promised? Every moment not wanting to slip up, not wanting to get it wrong, living in fear of what God might do to me. It may sound like a sad story but this is one of vanity and pride.You can’t save yourself and if you could then why oh why did Jesus die? Oh it may sound like humility to say that you struggling, that you are trying etc, but the truth is that you are trying to control a situation, trying to heal yourself and develop pathways to do so. That will never work, the only antidote is truth and truth is Jesus.

When Jesus whispers His love letter into your ear, when you hear the love song he has written just for you then you start to transform. The best thing a sick person can do is sit in  the lap of their daddy and listen as he tells you how much he loves you, how he is for you, how special you are and how he will never leave of forsake you. He works all things for  your good for His glory. One day whilst planning a sermon the penny dropped, revelation came and truth set me free, Thank you Jesus!!! Its not like knowing something, I knew the bible said Jesus loves me but it was all in my head and when the hard times came I discover that that there voices where louder and that I really didn’t believe God did love me. Remember that it is far easier to know that God exists than it is to know God loves you. That lesson is one that God takes his time over because He knows the power of it, He knows what happened when a person believes and He wants His children to live free. It’s why it is, for me, the greatest battle ground and one that can’t be won by fighting but by simply believing and sitting with your dad, the king of kings, the lord of lords and the only one qualified to be an all sufficient saviour.

The work I do is His business because it his work. Whats my job? Simple, it’s to be obedient and be his hands, feet, voice. To be a bridge so that God can reach all of His children. He will give me all I need, He will fill me and He will sustain me. Faith then is very simple and I am free to bring Gods love to the world because He fills my heart with His love. I know that if I stay away from him then life will become hard but how simple is it to sit eternally in your daddies lap. He loves me with a furious love and His love is transforming my life. Thank you Jesus.

His work in Cornwall continues to grow and we are dreaming for more. We want His will to be done and His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. He has taken a Drop-In which had 1 young person attending and grown it to 60 plus. We are now having trained mentors at our Drop-In session so we can best full fill the needs of the young people who come. They are all so special and I want them to know the safety and warmth of His love.

God is also showing us how he wants our believers group to look and that to has grown and He has brought His children to us. The harvest is truly plentiful and God has been at work long before He called me here. We are seeing the first fruits of the vision he gave us and we are truly thankful for all He is doing. (If you wanted to know the vision please refer to our mission page on this blog).

I have attached below a link to my most recent sermon that goes into more detail about letting God do His business and trusting in Him.

http://lightandlife.co.uk/staustell/multimedia-archive/you-arent-and-you-cant-he-can-because-hes-the-i-am/

Lydia has settled in to her Job as a Support worker for Karrick Community and I am still employed one day a week by the Church. We are still relying on regular and one off donations to sustain ministry and if you would like to join our family of supporters then please follow the “Support Us” link on this blog.

God is blessing us with a home too!!! And there is a new addition to the Greene household…..No is not a baby but a dog (who’s heart skipped a beat?). So please welcome Rupert.He is a lovely rescue dog and is half Yorkie and half Pomeranian. Lydia has lrupert-130x130ong wanted a Dog and I know that Rupert will bring her great joy and I thank God for giving her this gift and for the gift of the house. We have been living in community now for 2 1/2 years and although we are truly grateful for all those who have looked after us we are now looking forward to having our own nest.

 

Thank you all for taking the time to read all about what we have been up to and thank you to all those who support us.

All our Love

The Greenes.

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House Purchase Update

Hi all,

I pray this e-mail finds you blessed and well in the Lord. Lyds and I have had some new RE our house purchase. As most of you know we have had an offer accepted and the mortgage broker are happy to use our stewardship salary. However we received an e-mail today from our broker informing us that they were having trouble securing a mortgage as the lenders weren’t happy with the Stewardship income. They say there is still hope as there a few more lenders to talk with but things aren’t looking good.

We know that if God wants us here then he will move all the mountains in the way and that if this house falls through (not literally) then he has a better place in store for us. We, therefore, would really value your prayers in this matter as the prayers of the saints are powerful and effective.

There is a time element to this as we won’t be able to stay where we are for much longer and need something sorted out asap. We also really desire our own space to.

We also ask that if anybody ahs a word or picture from God that you would pass it to us please.

God bless,

The Greenes

 

 

 

Prayer Request

Hi all, 

Lyds and I have a prayer request and we would value your prayers and input as people who support us and pray for us. The great news is that we have had an offer accepted on a house down her in St Austell, which is amazing. However we placed the offer with the understanding that a mortgage was possible (this came from the mortgage broker we are using) and the fact that we felt/still feel that this is right and God is in this.

It has since transpired that we are unable to use our Stewardship money on our mortgage application and without that we aren’t able to get the size of mortgage that we require. The offer we’ve had accepted is a lot lower than the asking price and we feel this is from God and a massive blessing. We do still feel that this is the right house and we are believing in and trusting in God, the good thing about this situation is that it takes it out of our control (or moves us to a place were we can’t) and into a place where we have a full reliance on God (which is amazing). If it’s the right house God will provide and he will move all the blocks in the way. He did this for our house in Four Oaks and he can do it here too. 

Our prayer request is a simple one: that God would provide away for us to get the mortgage or that we will feel that it’s not the fight house or time. 

Thank you all for your prayers. 

Love The Greenes 😊

Prayer Request

Hi all, 

We are happy to report that we are settling into our new roles and ministry down here in Cornwall and that God’s blessing and anointing is on us. We have seen many doors open and there is a real fruitfulness in our lives and our ministry. It feels like the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, the land is ripe and ready and we are called here to reap the harvest. 

Lydia has now been offered at Job with Karrek Community which is essentially the Prospects of Cornwall. We do have a few prayer needs which we would love our support community to pray into. 

1. We are getting to the point where we are thinking about getting our own place. We have been looking and have found some properties we like and now it’s all about the all important mortgage. Not being the highest earners on the planet makes this a little more difficult but we believe God is in this and we ask for your prayers here. 

2. We ask that you continue to pray for Lyds and I as we look to break new ground and be on the front line. Prayer for our deepening relationship to Christ and with each other. Pray for protection and Guidance. 

Your prayers are really important to us and we know that we can achieve all things in and through Christ and that the prayers of the saints are powerful and effective. 

Please feel free to ask any questions or get in touch with any prophetic words or pictures. 

All our Love, 

James and Lydia Greene. 

And We’re Back!!!

Soooooooo yeah it’s been a while. We know, we know and we are very sorry that we haven’t been in touch but please know that it’s not been due to lack of desire. We have wanted to say Hi and update ya’ll on our process but have been unable to until now…….So here we go!!! (I know we are excited too!!)

As most of you know (and those that don’t, tut tut for not reading our amazing blog) we have been around in the UK doing various Ellel courses since August last year. But what you don’t know, and that’s because we didn’t tell you, is what God was talking to us about regarding our future. Now, as you know, I’m not one for long speeches and going on and on – that’s Lydia’s department! So the whole blog has been updated and I encourage you to read the About Us and Our Mission tabs of this blog to find out more.

Lyds and I have had an amazing time journeying with God through our Ellel processes and I even managed a silent retreat (yep check me out – now that’s growth)! We have both benefited from this time away processing with God and allowing the most amazing father there will ever be to tell us just how much he loves us and how much he thinks of us. We are still journeying and processing but discovering that this is a life long journey was part of the discovery.

It was during this period that we started to get vision for our youth work and how God wants to reshape the world using young people. God showed us that the starting point for us would be Cornwall and hearing this call we followed Jesus. We spoke to a family of Churches called Light and Life about the vision and calling that God had laid on our hearts and we have never looked back since. We now live down here and have just started setting up youth ministry in St Austell. The plan is to expand this into all the Light and Life churches and then watch as the young people continue the expansion taking God’s love and heart to all the UK and then to the corners of the world. We believe we are in a time of revival and that Cornwall is the epicentre for this global vision.

We want to see young people stepping out into the giftings that God has given them and have their authentic faith with Jesus transform them and the world around them. We want them to build families and take His love to those who have not yet experienced it. The reason we feel lead to the Light and Life churches is because they embody the same beliefs and values and the two fit perfectly.

Lyds is currently looking for work and we have both started to work with the young people down here. The church desires to employ us for 1 day and week and the rest of our income comes from support. We are so thankful to all those who have continued to support us during this time and during or changing ministry – we love you guys and you are awesome!! If you would like to join our family of supporters then please click on the Support tab of this blog and follow the instructions.

What else is there to say but we love you all and we will be keeping ya’ll updated with how everything is going down here.

The Nomadic Life: Gods Transformational Power

So it’s been 8 weeks since we landed back in England and since then we have travelled over 4000 miles, which is 571 miles a week or 81 miles a day: to put it in another way its like we have been traveling to Nottingham and back every day of every week from Sutton. We have also visited Birmingham, Lichfield, Oxford, St Austell, Plymouth, Scotland, Lancaster, and East Sussex. We are not done yet, before Christmas we will be going to Lichfield, Lancaster, St Austell, Surry and Suffolk and will chalk up around 8000 miles in 5 months which I think you’ll agree isn’t bad! Thank you God for the little car you blessed us with it’s amazing.

At the point of writing this blog we have completed 6 out of our 10 Ellel courses and we even had a healing retreat added to our itinerary. We feel so blessed and loved by God, he is our constant strengthen and is giving all we need to succeed in this season, which is a tough season for both Lydia and I. Its not easy to spend 6 months constantly going deeper into the hurts and wounds that have been controlling us and causing us to stumble: neither Lydia or I would change or stop this season, God is continuing to revel the issues He wants to deal with and is doing it with kindness and Love. It’s a strange feeling to not feel judge because of the wounds and sins in your life, but instead to feel totally accepted and loved for who you are and where you are. In this place of acceptance and Love that God has brought us into, transformation happens and we both feel safe and secure in His hands. He has already healed us of so much: Thank you father, thank you Jesus.

What to say about Ellel? Thank you so much!! You guys are amazing a real blessing to those around you and who God places in your path. With you we have felt welcomed and loved, safe and secure and full supported. To think of and experience such an unconditional love is amazing and life changing. It all felt so hopeless, the mountain seemed so high and the road looked to long. I was lost, insecure and full of pain and hurt. God used you to show me the hope there is in Christ and to teach me about Gods loving embrace, His acceptance of me, His desire to heal and not judge me. God has shown us how much He loves us and His love conquers all and in his love transformation happens . Thank you Jesus – You are faithful, you love like no other, there’s nothing you cant over come and you desire me, you chose me and I AM yours. To sum up how I feel let me use a line from one of my favourite songs: I’m no longer a slave to fear, I AM a child of God.

There is still much that God needs to do and this will be a life long process, but I don’t fear that…No I now embrace it. To know my father wants to set me free from what the world and the enemy would desire to keep me bound to is an amazing feeling. To know I can’t do it but He can and its His will and pleasure to do it: I don’t need to be perfect, I cant earn His love, I am always acceptable to him and he loves me!! He loves you to: no matter who you are, what you have done, what your afraid of, what the world says about you, God loves and accepts you!!! He desires you and wants to deliver you, heal you, save you, tell you it’s all ok and He will make it better if you allow Him to: WOW what love! Thank you Jesus! I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

We have 4 more courses left and a silent retreat and during this time we will be seeking God about our future and I look forward to sharing His vision with you. Thank you to all of you who offer us ongoing support we look forward to seeing you all soon. To the new friends we have made, we love you all and feel so blessed to have you in our lives. All of you are such a source of comfort and strengthen to us. To those who have housed us and looked after us with such kindness and grace we say Thank you! I wish to also say a special thank you to Anthony and Bryony Narain: It’s difficult to sum up the impact you have had on our lives, you are so incredible. Your love inspires me and your support of Lyds and I is nothing short of miraculous. You are truly Gods hands and feet: Thank you!

I look forwards to telling you all that’s been going on in our lives soon. God bless you all.

All our love

James and Lydia