PRAY FOR ME TODAY | MONDAY 30TH OCTOBER AS I GO TO | Stoke
THIS WAS SALFORD | (See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE)
THE CONTENTS OF MY HEAD AND HEART
SO DO CHECK BACK-MEANWHILE :
The clocks went back today. When I woke up, it was 1:30am. Sigh…I couldn’t get back to sleep and so I made a cup of tea and got down to some praying, emailing and studying.
About 2:45am emailed 5 Live in Salford to see if they wanted to do an interview? I eventually got an auto-response.
I emailed 6 Evangelical churches in Salford. By the end of the day none had got back to me save one. And that was very late on Sunday. As a side issue I did ring a few around 9:30am but again, no one answered and one message said “leave a message please but be aware that we only man the office from Tuesday to Thursday.” Well why bother! Are Sundays the day when we are open most as a church or not? Should this be the time we take calls? Maybe I’m just feeling grumpy. I mean, I visited a church this evening which advertised on the internet that it was a 7pm service, only to find out that it was in fact a private Diamond wedding celebration. So I apologised and left. I absolutely no longer believe what I read on church websites! P.S. Pastors, arm someone with a mobile phone! IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!
Anyways, around 4:00am I had fallen asleep again and grabbed another couple of hours or so. Nice.
I was at breakfast at around 7:15 and returned not too after to do some more study on Philippians.
I decided to visit a church I was aware of in Salford and arrived around 10:15 and introduced myself to the elders. They knew me as I had previously applied for a position with them. (Didn’t get it by the way). It was nice to be with them but “no there was” for a number of reasons “ no opportunity to share this morning or tonight. I grabbed some coffee after the service and a couple of interviews, though the background noise was much louder than expected.
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I am glad it wasn’t raining. I might have got severely depressed. Unfortunately, what is described as Salford City Shopping is a dump. The Salford riots took place around here, burnt cars and all that, and I can understand why. No excuses mind you, but in my opinion, this part of Salford is GROSSLY underdeveloped.
I spoke to the security guard inside the centre and found out my limits. No PA and clear lines of demarcation. He recommended I used the spot that the BNP uses to speak from. If the BNP were active here, I wondered what it was that had got them a foothold. It wasn’t rocket science mind you. This was a very deprived area and someone had to take the blame…..
You know, this area seemed SO deprived that my message from Philippians didn’t seem to fit. Imagine that, a message that did not fit this underdeveloped area of Salford. Hmmm.
I grabbed my self some lunch at Subway and then headed on down to the Salford Quays. I had been reliably informed that it was not for the real folk of Salford but rather for them ‘Puppies’ ….(he meant them Yuppies).
As I was making my way back to the car, a shipwrecked fella pushing a Zimmer frame got my attention. Did I have 60p for a bus fare home. No I didn’t. His breath stunk of alcohol. Why did he need a bus fare home? He was in his slippers? He can’t have lived far away. “I’ve got MS mate. I’ve lost my job, my wife, my house, my two kids, and tomorrow the council might put me out of my flat and I just haven’t got the energy to push this f’ing thing back home and drag me legs after it.” His eyes were full of tears. I said “silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee” and I gave him a £1 for his bus fare home and he thanked me profusely. I had no power to help him.
“The poor will always be with us.” And I am sick of seeing them. And all of my brethren with the gifts of healing, visions of diamonds and gold dust on their hands and all anointed up to the hilt, should get their backsides down to Salford City Shopping and start doing the business and scraping some of the gold dust off and the cashing in some of the diamonds.
Meanwhile, the BBC has just spent what? Just under £1 Billion to move its operation from London? And I understand that this financial cost does not include the relationship breakdowns, lawyer and counselling costs. That’s all extra. The Poppy man told me that at one time, you could walk down to the Salford Quays and get a job any day of the week. Not now. Now we are shipping in the skilled labour.
I am glad that the, some would say, beautiful re development of Salford Quays is going on, but the people this end of Salford, might just get some jobs as toilet cleaners and litter picker uppers. That’s about it. The people I spoke to, and even the City Centre shopping area itself, oozed utter hopelessness. Now undoubtedly someone will tell me off about this. But I wonder if they sat on the same BNP urine soaked, bubble gummed fag end covered little wall that I sat on and interviewed people from? Probably not.
Anyhoo, before I got back to that City Shopping Centre, I made my way to the edge of Salford, and to that MECCA which seems to straddle Salford and Trafford. That’s right, the Manchester United Football ground and the statue of the ‘Holy’ Trinity.
The Manchester United Mega Store was open and because it was a Sunday, not all of the 37 tills were operating. Still, if you wanted a printed shirt, shorts, socks, ball and team boots, then you might just come away with some small change out £400. If you wanted a season ticket, well that could be anywhere from £500 to £900 and beyond and oh yes, be sure to read the small print, because once you’ve got the season ticket then you are liable for every cup game played at home, which could run you up another £400 per season.(Man Utd tend to do rather well.)
The outside of Manchester United’s ground this particular Sunday was mostly Chinese folks and people from former Eastern bloc countries. I am told that most people who support Man Utd and go to games are not from the area. It seems most of the players aren’t either. It seemed to me that everyone was benefitting from Salford apart from the out of work people of Salford? HA! What do I know? I’m only here for the day.
It got me thinking though, I mean, I wonder if the church is like a doomed hostage trying to cheer up some other doomed hostages. The church laughs at the sinful situation of our land, shouting ‘God is with us’, and in so doing, it mocks its economic and spiritual captors, and helps people far worse off than itself, as much as it can. But in the end, they are all going to get a bullet in the head. I wonder if we are kidding ourselves by simply getting us sum succour and some self justification for our existence by providing sacred palliative care to the marginalised of our city societies whilst we all die together. I think I am right. I think we are providing heartfelt, God glorifying, absolutely wonderful palliative care. But we have no cure. We are simply easing people’s passing into eternity where we can. In all our acts of kindness, in all our most necessary and massive do gooding, we are easing our nation’s economic , moral and spiritual collapse, taking away some of the pain of this slow death. That’s nice. We have become the spiritual MacMillan nurses of the 21st Century. That’s nice but it WILL NOT change society.
All of our prayers now need to be focused into political and social revolution. Frankly, I think it’s too late, but that’s just me. In any event, a return to the Word of God and prayer, even the much talked of Holy Spirit revival MUST include a political takeover. That means Christians MUST start new Political organised societies. Christians must start strategically taking over political institutions, both local and national. If we wait for revival to start, we shall have no chance of retaining the blessings. We must start now. And I am not talking of social reform I am talking about a new revolution of Biblical proportions, in regenerational righteousness at every level of society. Unfortunately, I think we are far too late and the lights will continue going out all over England. Am I saying that there is no power in the Kingdom of God! Absolutely. For whilst I see it in the Scriptures and believe it with all my heart, the reality is a rare as rocking horse poop. All we can do, and we are very good at it mind you, is provide the most excellent of palliative care. But that’s just what I think.
Maybe this dark talking of mine will be seen by some to be what it truly is and that is a challenge to start being SO heavenly minded that we the church finally becomes of fantastic terra forming use. Who knows, we might even see some real signs and wonders? Think on.
As I left Man Utd’s ground, I couldn’t help spot a Muslim guy, obviously dressed for e something important directing numerous cars back in the opposite direction they were coming from! “ Yeah it’s my brother’s wedding mate and these daft F’rs are all going the wrong way. It’s the Sat Nav, the postcode is sending them the wrong way. We’ve got a 1,000 people coming.”
“Man that must be an expensive do?” Says I.
“Well we don’t have gifts you know, everyone gives about £30-£40 cash. That’s’ why we’ve got so many coming you know. We’re not bloody stupid! If you want some Asian food mate, we’ve got loads down there.”
I told him I had a sign he might want to use. I went back to the car, got the sign and put my Hosea quotes on the reverse side revealing a new white surface. I walked back to give it to him but he shouted across the road
“I forgot to tell you mate. They can’t read!”
I took my sign back to the car and left the comedic Muslim guiding frustrated women on cells phones as they all did U Turns at the traffic lights. Salford City shopping centre was calling.
By the by, on my way back to Salford City Shopping, I popped into the Northern branch of the Imperial War Museum, which, apart from the £4 parking and £1.20 to get on to the viewing platform and the ask at the counter for a donation and purchase of a guide, is absolutely free! It’s a fantastic building which seems to have far much more space than real exhibits. Such a shame really.
The extravagant expense of Manchester United’s Mega presence, the mad move of the BBC, the vacuous and unused space in the War Museum all stood in stark contrast to Salford’s City Centre shopping area. It all seemed so ostentatiously obscene.
So anyways, I was back at Salford City Shopping Centre around 4pm. I did not have the heart to preach to these people. Here me now, for while I think that the eternal salvation of the soul is THE MOST WONDERFUL AND NECESSERY OF THINGS…. I felt I needed some power for healing, some hope for jobs and a future for these folks and you know, quite frankly, I didn’t. So, I decided to get my board, get my new sign and offer a £1 per interview and see if I could get into some private conversations going.
I did a couple of interviews,
And then, just as the 4pm shutters started to be pulled down and the light began to fade, Kenneth came around the corner. Bless him, his poor face was in a right mess. He’d been out of prison just a few days and had immediately gone out on the razzle and whilst being smashed out his skull had had someone push his skull down on to the ground. Kenneth’s interview is well worth the watching.
I prayed with Ken, he told me that he even felt the warmth of God’s love on his back as I prayed for him. Actually, I think my hands were warm and he was very cold. He is an honest man, but he is an alcoholic. I encouraged him to get back to church, back to AA and call upon God. He said he would. He asked me if I had another 50p. I didn’t.
Please pray for Ken. Unless God gets hold of him, unless he gets hold of God, it’s good night Vienna. Someday soon, someone will simply come upon his corpse. He needs God. He needs Hope. He needs deliverance. He needs a so much help. He needs to make the decision to stop drinking.
Drugs are a massive problem in our cities. The problems of Alcoholism however, seems to make that massive problem seem quite small.
I sat and spoke with Ken for a while and we were the last to leave Salford City Shopping Centre. Even the security guard said goodnight as he toddled off home.
I gave Ken my card and promised I would call him in a week or two and I got back to the Hotel around 5:00pm. I started to try and upload my videos, snacked on some Oat biscuits and decided to visit another church. The internet site definitely said the standard evening service was at 7pm. Well, you know what happened. So, it was back to the Hotel, and a hot bath and journaling.
I called Bridget and said goodnight. I can’t wait to see her.
I am in Stoke tomorrow, but you know, I really do need some fresh wind and some fresh fire. I am pretty sure that I could slug it out over the next 16 days, but I want more than that. I want to finish on a real high. I want, I want, I want!
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