- Ask For GOD TO BLESS PRESTON, THE WORK OF THE MAYOR, ALL SAINTS CHURCH AND THE YOUNF MEN I GAVE MY SKELETONS TO
- Thanks For having a Bed to stay in last night
- I am in LANCASTER today, so please pray for Divine appointments please…….and of course for PROVISION. THIS IS A BIG ISSUE.
PROCLAMATION LOCATIONS & NEEDS
- TOMORROW’S MESSAGE is in the city of CARLISLE & ROOTED IN the book of HOSEAHPROCLAIMING AT: I DON’T KNOW CAN YOU MAYBE HOOK ME UP SOMEWHERE PLEASE! 07975 805 323
- IS ACCOMMODATION NEEDED FOR THIS NIGHT NIGHT? YES PLEASE!
- IF YOU CAN HOOK ME UP WITH SOMEONE OR SPONSOR A BED AND BREAKFAST? THAT WOULD BE GREAT)
- THE DAY AFTER’S MESSAGE is ROOTED IN the book of JOEL;
- IN THE CITY OF BELFAST | PROCLAIMING WHERE :I DON’T KNOW CAN YOU MAYBE HOOK ME UP SOMEWHERE PLEASE! 07975 805 323
- IS ACCOMMODATION NEEDED? YES PLEASE!
- IF YOU CAN HOOK ME UP WITH SOMEONE OR SPONSOR A BED AND BREAKFAST THEN THAT WOULD BE GREAT)
See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE
I was up at 6:30am this morning having had a great night’s sleep in a quiet house and a warm bed. I had time to do a little typing when John came in with a hot cup of tea. I proposed marriage. He smiled and said I was not the first. I felt cheap.
I open up a text I received at midnight last night. I had heard my phone pinging in my sleep. It was a from a man I had met on the street. Today he wanted to know of Jesus would give a resurrection to the Roman Catholic suicide dead who had been seriously ill? Apparently St Augustine of Hippo had created edicts to deny funerals in consecrated earth and consigned these folks to unmarked graves. “Augustine” he said, “Strikes me as a man with meagre compassion. Why should I forgive him for his cruelty to people who were themselves in great pain with no medical relief? Today Augustine is venerated by Pope Benedict in the church of San Peitro Cel D’loro whilst the suicide dead are forgotten in unmarked graves. Surely it is Augustine who will be obliterated on judgement day whilst the suicide dead will be in paradise with Jesus Christ our Lord?”
I needed a double sausage McMuffin meal.
My iPad’s 3G was working OK so I googled the other nice man who texted me last night at 8:30pm after praying for me on the side of the road. “Dear Robert” it said, “I pray that you will have sweet sleep and rest tonight. I have sent you an email about the leaders’ summit at Wembley and the invite to the Stadium next year in September. It is in rough draft and I would like you to suggest some lines in the invite. Feel free to call. Also send me a brief outline of key prayer points and I will get the 24 hour prayer chain to pray for you daily. Blessings. Jonathan Oloyede.
Ah! So that who Jonathan ‘O’ is. It’s actually; Dr. Jonathan Oloyede who has just got 1,000 leaders to Wembley to pray and in 2012 is hoping to get 70,000 Christians along to pray, with representatives from each city and town being part of the deal. I will later email and tell him that I will give a personal invite to each Mayor I get in front of, and of course, I also send him ten bullet points for the prayer chain.
1. Prayer requests
2. I am a signs and wonder Pastor at the moment. I sign the cheque and wonder where the money is coming from. This journey has been a step of faith and we are in need Gods daily provision for the next 40 days especially for the tour.
3. I need God’s favour from Church Leaders as I arrive virtually unannounced in each city.
4. I need opportunities to proclaim His Word from the Bible Book of the day, to the right people, in the right way, at the right time.
5. I need boldness, strength and courage
6. I need to be willing to step out of the box and out of my comfort zone
7. I need to be open to hearing God’s voice
8. I want to see God’s power
9. I need Gods protection for me and for my family
10. Ten days after this tour ends, my wife and I need God’s direction for where to base our ministry and also a home to live in.
11. Meanwhile, I need a bed each night and if possible Wi-Fi access
Even more people are now praying. I am completely made up! Praise God!
The man I just proposed marriage to over a hot cup of tea in bed, (actually, that sounds more gruesomely possible nowadays!) has been an Open Air Campaigner for years. I remember both myself and Bridget going out on the Streets of Glasgow in 1981 in the bitter cold, supporting John as he preached using a paint board and chatting with people about Jesus. I remember Buchannan street being a tough crowd and also buying John a hot Scotch pie to warm him and his fingers up. I had soaked it in malt vinegar (I like vinegar) and as he chomped it down he became violently ill, hurling the pie on the pavement floor. John has not kept vinegar in the house for thirty years! We arranged to meet in the Marks and Spencer’s Café at 11:45 and do some sketch board work in the city centre. It was exceptionally windy and every 30 minutes, it absolutely hosed it down. I did not have a clue about what I was going to do about proclaiming from Ezekiel and form which section. It was this book in particular that the Welsh Bible translator was having trouble with in NOT literally translating it. It was this book where God kills the prophets wife, ‘the delight of his eyes’ to make Ezekiel a living example about just how God felt about Jerusalem, it was this book that…well you get the picture. I love Ezekiel. He is the ultimate street preacher, a complete pantomime on two legs. He is no joke, but rather, a most extraordinary guy, the priest of all the prophets.
Preston is derived originally from being a ‘Priest Town’ a town heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism. I felt it was the right book for the right city (either way they were going to get a message from it) and it was time to get going. Café Nero’s or Maccy D’s both had their Wi Fi calling. I left around 8:30am and the weather was awful. The high wind moved the clouds very quickly though and every torrential downpour only seemed to last a few minutes before moving on.
The car radio was off but my head was playing “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones. Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bone. Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, now hear the word of the Lord. The foot bones connected to the shin bone, the shin bones connected to the knee bone…….” I wondered where I could get a full size skeleton costume. If I could dress in a skeleton costume then, I could be a living example of Ezekiel 37. OK. That was the plan.
I parked in the Market car park, and put in the £1 coins which John had given me. I walked out and with the rest of Preston immediately took shelter from another torrential downpour as the strong wind at times turned the vertical vector to horizontal.
Despite the rain, Preston city centre was unpretentious and busy. It reminded me of Chesterfield in the 1970’s on a busy Saturday Preston seemed full of £1 shops and other cheap bargain shops and they were all gearing up for Halloween. I found a skeleton costume but it wasn’t as substantial as I had hoped and it was £12 I did not have. So I opted in the end to get two foot high plastic fluorescent skeletons. I could either put them on the floor and preach from them, or drag them behind me in the street or hold one in each hand by the neck and just shake them as I was proclaiming “Preston! Can these dry bones live?” Maybe I would do that. Now I needed coffee and internet.
I had filled a Nero’s loyalty card up and was about to buy the most expensive drink on the board. The trainee Baria womanwomen in her mid 40’s, smiled at me and said ‘Eeee. I’ve never made one of these before I hope it’s OKAAY”
I said in a funny way “and its not lovee can I have me money back?”
One of the customers already seated piped up and shouted
“No! You can sod off and find another coffee shop.” I was liking Preston already. Real folk, willing to contribute and communicate.
I sat next to Hussein, he was an Egyptian Muslim married to a Jehovas Witness. We chatted a ling time about the Middle East, Britian, religion politics, the Arab Spring and the CIA. He is taking his wife and leaving Britain. The ‘taxes are too high’ and ‘we take care of foreigners far better than we do our own indifineous peoples’. ‘We are spoiled.’ I couldn’t help agreeing with much of his obersvations. I think he agreed in my suggestion of the ‘market place of religion’ where anyone and everyone had the right and privelage to proclaim what they believed until the truth was seen to be the truth. And yes, I really do beleive that. Far too much blood has been shed in these islands over religion. Let everyone be accorded the privilage in supposed free and democratic society to proclaim what they believe without fear of voilent retribution, for that is God’s perrogative and His alone to inflict.
I rang Madam Mayor and spoke to Carol he PA who got back to me about ten minutes later saying that although Madam Mayor was out of her Parlour today, she would be delighted to meet with me at her home at 2:30pm this afternoon. Now tell me, isn’t that amazing? How nice is that!
I have to re-arrange a meeting the Vicar of All Saints who John had lined up for me at 2:00pm and put it back for 4:30pm. Sorted. The Vicar was called Daff. Apparently when an American had been introduced to him one time, he began to speak slowly and loudly, precisely annunciating each word and emphasising it with gigantic facial expression. John tells me that the American had actually thought the Vicar was deaf instead of just being called Daff. It was an honest and very funny mistake. So anyways, I will meet Daff at 4:30pm. Meanwhile the skeletons were rattling in my bag.
I checked out where Preston Minster was and found out that Father Tim was taking Mass at St Georges at 12:00. Somehow I managed to find directions and arrived there sweaty and wet on the inside and damp from the rain on the outside. By now John was in Marks and Sparks with a Cappuccino whilst I was explaining to some poor verger what I wanted to ask Father Tim, who was going to be ten minutes late. I left a magazine and my card and said “If Father Tim is up for me sharing form Ezekiel I will be 5 minutes away and will come immediately.” I never heard from Father Tim. Mind you, I wouldn’t have me either. “I am saying Mass and some unknown person wants to speak on Ezekiel for ten minutes? No.”
John was waiting for me when I arrived in Marks and Sparks’s coffee shop. I put my skeletons down on the table, as you do, and tell him that it had been hailing as I came up the road apocalyptically bouncing off the cars. I remember a car in America that had looked like it had been dented by a 100 golf balls. Now that was real hail.
John had not brought his Sketch board. A wise decision. So I was going to do some naked bungee jumping by myself. But where?
As we walked out of Marks and Sparks a small crowd had gathered in from of the door waiting for the rain to stop hosing down before going outside. John says to me, “I think you need web feet to go out in that!” And the security guard standing to my right over hears him and indignantly says “Excuse me sir, but I do have web feet, so be careful what you say.” You couldn’t make this stuff up could you! Apparently he has web feet across two toes on both feet but still can’t swim. The doctors can’t do anything for him.” I can think of no Biblical segue for web feet so we do not preach to him Jesus. On reflection a whole discussion question of Jesus walking on water without web feet and its soterialogical implications for him as a security guard would have been a good way to go, but to be honest, me and John were taken a bit off guard. I mean how do you answer that? The rain had eased off so we left. We were going to see John’s well sued pitch to find out if I could preach from Ezekiel there. The wind was howling and the rain was coming down again. John was right not to bring his sketch board. Again though, the folks inside the shopping centre were crowding up inside waiting for the rain to stop. It was obvious that if I could get permission to preach under the shopping centres entrance canopy I would have a captive congregation. I went looking for the centre manager and as we sat in his office I gave John the Camera. “You are my Camera Man brother.”
The Centre manager could not give me permission to preach on the premises but told me of an empty shop adjacent to the entrance which also had a canopy. I asked him if he could inform his security guards of what I was up to and he did. Indeed when we got down there, two white shirted guards were waiting for us.
The clouds had broken, the rain had stopped and the crowd had gone. There were still a lot of people though and it was now or never. So I instruct John and how to use the Camera, grab a skeleton in each hand by the neck and cry out “Listen up People of Preston for I have a question for you. Can these bones live?” I tell them who I am and tell them about Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones and the need for God to breathe life into us through Jesus Christ. Some people stop and listen.
Shortly after I finish, I ask three passing blokes if they heard what I said. They say “No” and then one of them says “Can I have a skeleton” I say “You can have both of them if I can speak to you all about Ezekiel.” They agree, I do and I tell ‘em about Jesus and they walk away with two skeletons. Two five foot fluorescent skeletons are hanging up on someone’s walls tonight silently proclaiming Ezekiel and the need of Jesus. Or so I like to think.
Its time to put more money in the meter; grab another coffee to get out of the rain and go to see the Mayor.
Councillor Bobby, Madam Mayor greets me at the door wearing here chain of office. She looks great! And is very welcoming. Her husband, a former Mayor of Preston, is also with here as is her attendant, taking care of the £100,000- £250,00O (depending on if its melted down or sold) worth of Bling hanging around the Mayors neck! I get a hot mug of tea, and exceptionally warm welcome and a great interview. Again, I am blown away by the workload Mayors have, and of their delight to bear the burden for the love of their city. It’s all very impressive
By the time we get back to Preston City centre, the rain is pouring down again and we are forced to get yet another cup of coffee. Before meeting Daff, who is not deaf by the way?
All Saints looks very little like an Anglican church. Its architecture is more like a non conformist chapel and Daff loves the Word of the Lord and the Lord of the Word. A church of over 100 maybe and in the centre of Preston, it is certainly going places and as my mate Paul Young says, “Is doing the business.”
I have been toying all day about to an Open Mic session tonight at the Commodore Hotel. It starts a nine O Clock and I had hoped to have found time to work on a performance poetry piece around Ezekiel. I had tried to get through to them on the phone, but had been unsuccessful John and Jean wanted to take me out for dinner (Jean was recovering from recent MAJOR surgery) and Bridget advised me concerning the wisdom of food, typing and bed. I took her advice.
The wind was howling again as we entered the pub and I rubbed my shoulders and said to the guy leaning on the bar “Burr, it’s blooming cold out there!” He smilingly sneers and says “Don’t be so soft! I’ve been working in it all day.”
The food was filling, the company was great and despite the awful weather, I have really enjoyed Preston. The city and its people have been unpretentious, open and nice.
I am in bed my 9:00 and pick up on some Skype conversations and one of my buddies educates me on hash tags for twitter and encourages me to get a dongle. I will try and do the same tomorrow.
Northern Ireland is looming and I have yet to book the Ferry. Meanwhile, my eyes are closing and Lancaster awaits. Jess has hooked me up with a room with her sister and her husband for tomorrow night, Praise God. I try not to think beyond the next twelve hours. I honestly get overwhelmed by it. Jonathan ‘O’ has said I am not alone. He is right of course, but in the wet and windy North, it sure does feel like it.
A brother from Manchester calls. He is arranging a meeting for me. How wonderful.
“Time for bed” said Zebedee. Tomorrow, this strange roundabout would start turning once again.
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