What a man! But what a Saviour!

I was just settling down at my computer to write a blog about Strands of Destiny, when breaking news came through on my computer that the veteran evangelist, Billy Graham, had died, aged 99. Billy Graham was not just “one of the most influential preachers of the twentieth century” as he was described by the BBC, but he was, arguably, one of the most influential of all men and women of the twentieth century.

There are hundreds of millions of men and women, probably from all the countries of the world, who owe the fact that their lives were redeemed and put back on a God-honouring course by meeting their Saviour through the ministry of Billy Graham. No-one will ever be able to calculate the extent of the blessing he has been to all those people and the consequences there have been down the generation lines to children, children’s children and beyond.

I was ten years of age when I went with my Dad to hear Billy Graham at Harringay Arena in London in 1954. I was mightily impacted and will never forget how one particular man came to the Lord there through Billy’s ministry. I tell his story in Strands of Destiny. Then, many years later in 1984, I was privileged to be the originator of Mission England Praise (now Mission Praise), the song book for Billy Graham’s Mission England, and be involved in organising the meetings at Liverpool Football Club’s, Anfield Stadium. Those never to be forgotten days were part of my own personal journey of seeing faith in action.

Meeting Billy Graham, and his almost equally well-known song-leader, Cliff Barrows, was an inspirational moment that touched my life. Even though for over thirty years now I have been involved in the healing ministry, I have never forgotten that the primary calling of a Christian is to introduce those who don’t know Jesus, to their Saviour.

This will be a day of great thanksgiving in the hearts of countless people, including my own. There will be hundreds of millions of strands of destiny woven into a tapestry of thanksgiving as Billy meets His Saviour face to face.

I was going to write this blog about reactions to my book, Strands of Destiny, but that will have to wait for another time. Today is a day to thank God for a man who walked in his destiny throughout his days. His obedience to his calling has produced a harvest of extraordinary fruit.

Thanks be to God for the man – but even greater be to God for Billy’s Saviour, who called Billy to Himself when only a teenager and has now called him Home on the brink of his hundredth birthday. What a man – but, Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

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Are You Shovelling Coal or Stones?

Occasionally I have some very vivid dreams. More often than not they are forgotten within seconds of waking up, but every now and again I have a dream that persists and which I know that God is speaking through.

In one such dream, I was leaning out of the window of a long steam-hauled passenger train, as it was going round a bend in the track. I could see the engine and the front coaches of the train in the distance. Suddenly, the link between the first three coaches and the rest of the train came adrift. I watched as the engine with its three coaches disappeared into the distance, while the rest of the train that I was on slowly free wheeled to a halt.

It seemed that I was the only person fully aware of the problem. Eventually a small shunting engine came reversing down the track to connect with and retrieve the rest of the train. The shunter was accompanied by a tender full of best quality coal. And in the dream it became my job to keep shovelling the coal into the fire box of the engine, so that this small engine could get up enough steam to pull a long heavy train.

I was doing a good job and was pleased with the work I was doing. Then I noticed that as the coal began to be used up, amazingly, someone was pouring bags of fresh coal into the tender so that there was always a good supply.

But then I also noticed something else. There were some sacks of what I thought to be coal being poured into the coal-tender from another direction. And as I bent to shovel this fresh coal into the fire I was suddenly aware that these sacks did not contain best quality coal at all, but pebbles of stone, which were now mixed with the best quality coal still being poured in from the other side.

I now had a huge problem. If I continued to shovel the coal mixed with stone into the firebox of the engine the coal would burn, but the stones would be left behind. And before very long the fire box would be clogged with stone, the engine would not be able to produce any steam and the whole train would grind to a halt.

I soon saw that before I could shovel more coal into the firebox, therefore, I had to pick out the lumps of stone and separate them from the coal. But this was taking such a long time that the fire in the firebox began to burn low for lack of coal.

So, if I shovelled in the mix of coal and stone it would clog the firebox. And if I took the time to separate out all the stone from the coal, I wouldn’t be getting enough coal into the firebox to keep the engine going. Either way, whoever it was that was pouring sacks of stones into the coal tender was winning the battle.

It didn’t take me long to realise that there was only one way to win the battle – and that was to stop whoever it was that was pouring bags of stones into the coal-tender.

And then God spoke to me:

“The sacks of best-quality coal are being poured into the tender by My angels so that you will always have enough fuel to keep your life on track. When My enemy realises that you are determined to press on with your calling, he knows that he cannot stop My angels from pouring in the coal. So, in order to slow your progress, he looks for every possible opening there may be in your spiritual defences into which his ‘angels’ may pour sacks of stones.

If you do nothing about it the fire-box of your spiritual life will soon go out – clogged with ‘stones’. And if you start tackling the problem, the time you have to spend in clearing the stones out of the coal tender will also limit your potential in the Kingdom of God. Either way, eventually, your train will run out of steam and be going nowhere. Sadly, My church is full of trains going nowhere.

I am now urging My people to ask Me to show them where the holes are in their defences, through which My enemy can pour in stones, and to close them off by being willing to deal with the issues through repentance, healing and deliverance. Only then will their lives get back fully on track and they will be able to generate enough steam to pull the train of their life in the manner and direction that I intended.”

I woke up knowing it was time to go to prayer.



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View from a Distant Hill

When you are young the hills of time merge into the outline of a distant horizon. I used to look at my grandparents, who were younger then than I am now, and try to imagine what it must be like to be so old! They were standing on a distant hill and enjoyed telling me what their view of life and history was like from their elevated perspective.

The years have now passed and I, in turn, am standing on one of those distant hills. I have been looking back over the 73 years that God has so far granted to me, over 30 of which have been spent on pioneering and developing, with the Ellel team, the work that became known as Ellel Ministries. What God has done in that time is beyond human comprehension. I have been privileged to see Him work miracle after miracle – both in terms of the life-transforming work of His Spirit, in the lives of thousands of people, and in meeting the practical needs of the ministry.

The Psalmist encourages us to make a record of what God has done (Psalm 102:18), so that future generations will be able to praise and thank the Lord for what He has done. So, over the past few years I have been doing just that – writing the story, both of the years of preparation which preceded Ellel Ministries, and the step-by-step journey of faith that has seen the work established now in over thirty countries.

At long last the book, Strands of Destiny, is finished and about to be published. It is with considerable nervous anticipation that I await seeing the book for the first time. I have used the phrase View from a Distant Hill as the title of the Epilogue. For that is exactly what the book is – a view from the distant hill of my own life, looking back on seven decades of God’s faithfulness through many ups and down and often extraordinary experiences.

I find myself saying a very loud Amen to all that is expressed in Psalm 34 in which we find those simple words of testimony “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (v8). The poetry of Nicholas Brady and Nahum Tate perfectly encapsulates the words of the Psalm, and expresses for me my own thanksgiving to the Lord as I look back from my own distant hill. For He has miraculously woven the many different strands of my own life into His destiny purposes – hence the title of the book, Strands of Destiny.

Through all the changing scenes of life,
In trouble and in joy,
The praises of my God shall still
My heart and tongue employ. 

 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
With me exalt His name;
When in distress to Him I called,
He to my rescue came.

 The hosts of God encamp around
The dwellings of the just;
Deliverance He affords to all
Who on His succour trust.

Oh, make but trial of His love,
Experience will decide
How blest they are, and only they,
Who in His truth confide.

Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then
Have nothing else to fear;
Make you His service your delight,
Your wants shall be His care.

(Strands of Destiny will be published by Sovereign World at the end of November.

Over 400 pages of text, and 48 pages of photographs.)

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The Spirit of Antichrist

I normally have several books by my bedside – all of which I am reading bits of, according to what takes my fancy on any particular evening. But, this past week two very different books have grabbed my attention, essentially for the same basic reason.

The books are Back to Jerusalem by Paul Hattaway – being the story of those extraordinarily brave Chinese leaders who have laid down their lives to take the Gospel from China back to Jerusalem, through the strongholds of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, where the peoples are largely unreached by the good news of Jesus. This is a movement which originated in the middle of the last century – a movement which has cost the lives of hundreds of Christian martyrs, whose blood is on the land.

The other book is a much older tome, Fox’s Book of Martyrs, a great Christian classic which in Victorian England stood alongside Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as the two books, after the Bible, which every Christian should read. I have only ever dipped into the book in the past, it has been awaiting the time when the Holy Spirit prompted me to absorb the incredible stories of those who, down the centuries, have given their lives for their faith. That time came this past week.

So, a week later I have almost finished Back to Jerusalem and, so far, have managed about 30% of Fox. It’s not easy reading. But my spiritual life and calling has been challenged to the very core as I have read the stories of extraordinary courage and fortitude, as both young and old, men and women suffered the cruellest of unspeakable tortures and means of execution, rather than renounce their faith in Jesus and deny their Lord, even when knowing what terrible sufferings lay ahead of them on earth.

But it was what lay ahead of them in Heaven which shone so powerfully in their hearts, that kept them utterly faithful to their calling and destiny to the very end. Countless thousands down the centuries have lived the reality of Matthew 10:38-39 and have found their lives through martyrdom: ”Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find their lives.”

As I have meditated on why God had me read these two books at this time, I found myself analysing the reasons why men could act with such terrible and unjustified cruelty. Ultimately, I realised, that their demonically inspired murderous actions were, invariably, because their victims refused to acknowledge and accede to the beliefs of their accusers.

During the ten waves of Roman persecution, it was the Christians’ refusal to sacrifice to the idols of the state, in which the Emperors and their governors believed, which brought down the powers that be upon their heads. To oppose the authorities in this way was considered to be an act of rebellion, even treason, and this always carried with it the threat of death. Then, when things went wrong for Rome, it was sometimes said that it was the fault of the Christians and, as a result, general persecutions broke out with instructions to kill all Christians. When, what the authorities believed in was being rejected, all Christians became an enemy of the state.

I, personally, am a descendant of Huguenots who managed to escape from France during some of the most terrible and bloody persecutions ever recorded, as the Church of Rome tried to eliminate all protestant believers from France. And in the UK, in the days of Queen ‘bloody’ Mary, refusal to believe in the Roman doctrines and acknowledge the Pope as the head of the Church, lit the fires of martyrdom beneath thousands, including Bishops Ridley, Latimer and Archbishop Cranmer in Oxford. And I could hardly read the unbelievably awful and terrible things that Rome did to Protestants in the Spanish Inquisition.

In China refusal to stop believing in Jesus hit directly at the atheistic beliefs of the communist government. Members of the house churches became enemies of the state and, over the last seventy years, millions have paid the ultimate price for faithfulness to their Saviour and Lord.

It is believed that there were more martyrs for the faith in the twentieth century than in all the previous centuries put together!

And today, in the middle East, we have seen how the beliefs of radical Islamists have caused them to execute a similar brutal judgement on anyone (Christian, Jew or, even, Muslim) who dares to think and believe differently from the leaders of ISIS.

There is a spirit behind all such murderous persecutions of believers. It is cruel, it is antichrist and it rides on the back of a spirit of religion. Anyone who dares to think or believe differently from the adherents of their religion, whatever its name may be, becomes a victim of their hatred and poison. In the world, today, we have many different recognised religions, but we also have a religion which adherents would not want it to be called as such, but which is as much a religion as any other – for it is motivated by a belief.

In essence, that belief is humanism, which declares, in one way or another, that there is no such thing as a Holy God to whom we are answerable and that, in the moral realm, man is god of his own choices and is free to do whatever he likes especially, it seems, in terms of marriage, sexual relationships and abortion. Anyone who dares to think differently becomes an object of vitriolic persecution, powered by the same antichrist spirit that has caused the deaths of millions of martyr-saints in the past two thousand years.

Anyone in the UK, who saw Tim Farron resign as leader of the Liberal Democrats, after the recent election, was watching that antichrist spirit at work, driving him from office for holding orthodox Christian views. Tragically what, essentially, Tim Farron was saying is that in the UK, it is no longer possible for a practising Christian, with orthodox views, to remain leader of a political party. And that is a conclusion that believers would have to reach in many other of our western nations also.

But even more sadly, the church has fallen victim to the same pressures of humanism. Instead of being salt and light in a fallen world, boldly proclaiming the truth of Scripture to what is now a post-Christian society, it is increasingly drawing upon the beliefs and ways of the world for its moral direction, as opposed to being faithful to its founder and the teaching of Scripture, the Word of God.

In my student days, on my way from Christ Church to the science laboratories, I would cross Broad Street at the place where a large brass cross in the road had been put to mark the very spot where Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer were burned at the stake. We may not burn people at the stake today for holding the same orthodox, scriptural views as those noble Bishops but, make no mistake, it was the same antichrist spirit which called for the head of Tim Farron!

I pray that the Churches of our nation, as they deliberate on the critical issues of the day, such as abortion and marriage, will not choose to appease the spirit of antichrist and the false god of humanism in their councils and synods, by changing their orthodox beliefs to accommodate the world. I pray, too, that they will remember our blood-splattered land and not betray those who laid down their lives so that the Word of God could be freely available. These are severely testing days for those who want to remain faithful to the word of truth.

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The Aftermath

The UK has just emerged from its most extraordinary election in living memory. An election where a significant Conservative lead was whittled away by a far-left version of the Labour Party at the same time as two Islamic terrorist attacks on Manchester and London took thirty lives in the name of Allah, left dozens seriously injured and scarred the lives of the many hundreds who were caught up in the events. As the commentators and politicians pick over the pieces of all that has happened in the past few weeks, it is incumbent upon God’s people to not only pray for their nation but to seek His face afresh for how they should respond in the face of chaos, fear and spiritual darkness.

I have always followed closely the unfolding story of all the elections in my lifetime. But the one I remember the most is the 18th June 1970. Not, primarily, for the fact that Ted Heath surprised the nation by coming out on top, but because that was the night when God spoke to me, as I began the work of restoring the wreck of an Alvis Speed 20 car, and said “You could restore this broken car, but I can restore broken lives.” In that moment, my life was changed for ever and the seeds were sown for the founding of Ellel Ministries sixteen years later.

As I stare now at the moral confusion that dominates most of the main political parties – which all espouse what is termed social liberalism and embrace policies which allow all manner of conduct and relational behaviour, without restriction – I felt the grief of God and found myself weeping in my spirit. It wasn’t Buddha, or the gods worshipped by Hindus, Sikhs and Moslems that answered the desperate prayers of our nation during the second world war. The King called the nation to prayer, and the people flocked to the Churches to pray to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. God graciously heard and answered their prayers in a miraculous manner. But after the war the people forgot and today we have a younger generation that is largely ignorant of the Christian faith, the faith which has been the guiding light of our nation and its laws for generations.

There is no doubt that our nation is once again at war – not with a physical enemy from without, but with a spiritual enemy that has been turning the hearts of the people away from the living God for two generations and has now invited into the vacuum every alien spirit imaginable. Lawlessness is always the consequence of rebellion.

Last night, I dwelt on the chaos that reigned in the eighteenth century and remembered how God raised up John Wesley, among others, a fearless evangelist who spent his whole life traversing the nation, and once again turning the hearts of the common people towards God. I ended the day in prayer that once again God would raise up fearless evangelists who would uncompromisingly declare the truths of God’s Word to the people and that the Holy Spirit would unleash a spirit of repentance on the people.

I found myself weeping for the lack of a credible public Christian voice among the clergy of our churches, a voice which would command the respect of our political leaders. Then I was reminded of what God said through Ezekiel about the leaders of Israel: “Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things, they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 22:26).

I read on and was encouraged that in verse 30 it says that God “looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it”, but then I was dismayed when I read that God had to say “I found none” and that judgement of the nation was the consequence.

Surely, Lord, there are those in our nation who will stand in the gap on behalf of the land? Where are those with the gift of leadership who have been honed by the spirit in the secret place so that at the right time they will ‘come out of hiding’ and speak with a voice of holy authority in the public place?

Lord, I cry out to you to have mercy on our nation and to look for the men and women who are willing to stand in the gap for the land. Lord, I ask you to raise up those who will become a Wesley or a Spurgeon for the twenty-first century and give them a platform for their voices to be heard. We are desperately in need and our eyes, Lord, are on You.


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“Easter People – living in a Good Friday World”

Recent newspapers have been full of the precipitous stand-off in North Korea, and many other harrowing stories of human suffering, including the stabbing to death of an English girl studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In the midst of all this, the Editor of the Daily Telegraph chose to fill the whole of his editorial column on Easter Saturday with a remarkable account of the Easter message, focussing on the fact that Jesus “descended into Hell” so that we could have a hope of Heaven. Here’s the link:


It’s well worth reading and realising that not everyone in the media is anti-Chrstian. Indeed, during this past week there have been several  major articles in the Telegraph about the persecution of Christians overseas and the apparent disinterest of politically correct governments in opening their eyes to see that there is a systematic attack of believers going on, especially where radical Islam has a foothold. The ancient Syrian church is all but annihilated and the number of Christians left in Iraq is minimal.

But in the midst of the darkness the light of truth is being shone by the Holy Spirit – especially into the hearts of some Muslims who are sick of what their fellow Muslims are doing in the name of their religion. And many are turning to Jesus. And as we have discovered, there are many who come to Jesus the Healer and then discover that He is also Jesus their Saviour. More former Muslims celebrated Easter this year as devout followers of Jesus than at any other time in human history!

This Easter season has been a poignant time for me as I have meditated on the Sabbath day that divided Easter day from Good Friday. It must have been a day of confusion, uncertainty and fear for the disciples. We can look back with the benefit of hindsight and say to the disciples, “Why were you frightened – didn’t Jesus say He would rise again from the dead?” But if we had been part of that first group of disciples, caught between the tragedy of the day before and promises for the future that had not yet been proven to be true, I’ve no doubt we would have felt just like them.

I was deeply challenged by a comment by Andrew White, the former Vicar of Baghdad, who is now ministering in Jordan. He has on many occasions experienced believers having been tortured and killed for their faith in today’s spiritually hostile world. He is living and working with people who face the possibility of death on a daily basis – people who are trusting that the Jesus who was raised from the dead all those years ago, will be true to His Word and when He comes again and that He will raise them, also, to new life, free at last from the horrors they have experienced in this world.

Andrew’s summary of the world He is living in with believers is that “We are an Easter people, living in a Good Friday world.” This profound statement reflects the very heart of the Gospel – we are Easter people because Jesus was raised from the dead. But we are living in a Good Friday world, where the enemy of souls is still true to his name as a thief and a robber and seeking to cut short the lives of God’s people.

I have been challenged afresh to hold our persecuted brethren across the world in prayer in this their time of hurt, grief, suffering and distress. And through the agency of Ellel Ministries to do as much as we can, with the resources we have, to bring hope and healing to those still suffering, through the deep wounds and scars that mark their journey of faith.

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Breaking Through

Ever since the beginning of the work God has had us on a journey. At times it’s been a roller-coaster ride of faith as, little by little, God has taught us vital healing lessons from His Word and shown us how to apply them.

It was a shock, at first, to discover the significance that deliverance could have in the journey of healing. Then we learnt about the bondages people can be in through the ties of  wrong relationships. It was a further huge step forward when God showed us the keys for healing the brokenness caused by accidents and trauma. And then, when helping people with many kinds of struggles and problems, Fiona found that God can minister healing using creativity as a means of connecting to and finding lost identity. Out of this experience she pioneered the Healing Through Creativity courses at Ellel Grange. These have brought deep healing to thousands of people, both in the UK and at our Centres around the world.

And much to her surprise, God even used this course to break a sub-conscious fear of failure within her, which eventually led to finding her own God-given artistic gifting!  She signed up for a local art class and some of her paintings have now been made into greetings cards and are giving pleasure to others as well. You can see them all at www.fionahorrobinart.com

Healing Through Creativity is not, however, about finding hidden talent, although it may do just that!   It is about finding yourself and in finding yourself, finding that God is there with you, releasing you from hidden bondages and controls, many of which can be deeply subconscious.

Some of the most profound healings we have seen on Healing Retreats and Training Courses have  come about as people discovered that they are truly made in the image and likeness of God – creative like their Creator and loved for who they are.   Being creative in the fullest sense is everything from taking a walk, enjoying sport to being a woodworker, a scientist or a cook.  It includes you!

Having seen such wonderful fruit from Healing Through Creativity, Fi began to develop a week-long course, Bridge From the Head to the Heart, at Blairmore in Scotland. Here, in the tranquil beauty of the Highlands there is space and time for healing of the deepest hurts, which are often blocked in hidden places.

Following her years of running these particular courses, and years of praying with individuals, the vision then came for Breaking Through to Freedom – a course (currently run three times per year at Blairmore House) which is especially suited for those who have become stuck in their problem or have wrestled with significant issues, but have not yet found their personal breakthrough.

What a joy and privilege it is to have a part in seeing lives transformed under the hand of God. We are living in a very broken world, but God has His answers and is today transforming the broken-hearted of Isaiah 61:1 into the oaks of righteousness of Isaiah 61:4.

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My thirtieth birthday was a traumatic affair in a spiritual sense. I knew I was then old – or so I thought! For years I had been waiting on the Lord for whatever it was He wanted my life’s calling to be and when I reached thirty I was convinced that I had missed it and God had passed me by.

Youth is naturally impatient and fails to understand that God is not in a hurry and that He takes His time to hone and polish the man or woman who wants to serve Him. At the age of thirty I couldn’t see all the rough edges that God needed to polish and the experience that he wanted me to have. I can see now that God couldn’t release me into my calling until I had got a few more years of testing and training under my spiritual belt.

A wise and elderly saint of God confided in me at about that time that, in his experience, about forty was the age when God’s primary purposes would begin to be fulfilled. I had a few years to wait – until, actually, I was forty-three and we walked through the doors of Ellel Grange for the first time to begin the work of Ellel Ministries all those years ago in 1986.

Which brings me to the initial prompting for this blog – Ellel Ministries will be thirty years old on the 31st October! Yes, it was on Halloween night that God raised up a ministry that would have a strategic role in pulling down the strongholds of Satan in people’s lives. And in a few days’ time about ninety leaders of the work from all over the world will be gathering at Ellel Grange for our leaders conference.

It is almost beyond belief to realise what God has done in such a short period of time. And now we are preparing ourselves for whatever He has next in store for us. We have a deep sense that in many ways the first thirty years have been a preparation. During the conference we will be taking time out to pray into the ongoing vision for the work and we would really value your prayerful support at this time as well.

No-one needs telling that the world is in a serious mess and that the farther that people (and governments) transgress from the ways of the Lord, the messier people’s lives will become.  God has been preparing us over the years to be ready for when people in their hundreds come knocking on the door, crying out to God for the only form of healing that can put their lives back on track.

These are certainly challenging days and while we will be taking a short time out to have a time of thanksgiving and celebration on the 31st, the main thrust of our leaders’ conference is equipping the team who are being Prepared for a Purpose.

There are a couple of brilliant chapters in the biography of Charles Cowman (husband of Lettie Cowman, who wrote the famous devotional book Streams in the desert) about how God orders our steps and prepares us for His purposes. It’s been a huge encouragement (and challenge) to me over the years. It’s a book worth reading – get it if you can. Charles Cowman – Missionary Warrior, by Lettie Cowman. God still has a work for each one of us to do. You are never too old – whether you are thirty or eighty – to be thinking ahead and praying into the purposes of God for the rest of your life!

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God Has Acted

In my recent Blog about the European referendum, I set out the spiritual reasons why I believed that the UK should leave the European Union. As I write these words on the morning of the 24th June, the nation, the European Union and, indeed, the markets of all the world’s major economies are in utter turmoil!

Contrary to everyone’s expectations, the unthinkable has happened. By a very significant majority the United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has offered his resignation. It is a totally extraordinary result, way outside the parameters of anyone’s expectations. The Remain camp, which ended the day yesterday confident of victory, is this morning in disarray, completely at a loss to explain what has happened. The victory is reminiscent of some of the victories of David when the Lord acted on his behalf to overcome the Philistines.

Yesterday morning, I settled down to a time of personal prayer for the nation.  My reading for the day happened to be Psalm 75 in which the psalmist declares in verse 7 that “it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.”

Then this morning the daily Seeds of the Kingdom devotional from Ellel Ministries, written by one of our team serving in Europe, happened to be based on the Scripture from Exodus 2:25, which says “He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.” (NLT).  As I read those words they came to me as a strong confirmation that not only was the referendum result extraordinary, but it was indeed a massive answer to prayer. God has acted to set the UK free from the external spiritual control of the European Union. God has not forgotten our history and He has given this nation another opportunity to recover its spiritual destiny.

This is a time to renew our commitment as believers to be intercessors for the nations – both for the UK and for all the other nations of the European Union. From a place of freedom, I believe we will be much better positioned to stand alongside our brothers and sisters in Europe, serving one another in the Body of Christ. Ellel Ministries has centres and operations throughout the whole of Europe and we are trusting that just as God has answered the prayers of His people for the UK, that He will also answer the prayers of believers right across the continent.

I ended my pre-referendum blog with these words:

“On the 23rd of June I will be voting to leave the EU – but I’m already praying for those hidden ‘Jehoshaphats’, ‘Daniels’ and ‘Josephs’ to come to the fore of public life, and start steering our nation back to the godly roots from which it has currently wandered so far.”

This must now be the urgent prayer agenda of God’s people.

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The God-Life

Jim Graham has been one of my closest and most precious friends for almost twenty-five years. He has taught at different Ellel Centres and Conferences on many occasions and His fatherly input, encouragement, correction and direction have always been immensely valued.

I knew Jim wasn’t well at the beginning of 2016 as he had cancelled some teaching appointments, because of what he thought must be flu. But on the 19th March 2016 I received an email from him, containing the detailed diagnosis of his condition by his medical consultants.  In this he said: “In reality, Peter, it looks like I am heading to the finishing line. I am content and completely free of anxiety. Please pray that I will finish well! Looks like, too, Peter that my teaching days are over.” My eyes filled with tears as I dwelt on those many years of rich fellowship and the prospect of Jim no longer being part of God’s family on earth.

I will never forget the few hours we were privileged to spend together on the 6th April, mainly talking about the Lord, but it wasn’t until the 25th April that I heard of the existence of Jim’s personal ‘translations’ of Paul’s Epistles. I wrote to him immediately, urging him to consider allowing them to be published. Very graciously, he arranged for a copy of all the letters he had completed to be sent to me, together with a Preface he had just written.

Three times, as a publisher, prior to Ellel Ministries, I was fortunate enough to discover and publish significant books and see them become best-sellers. Moments like those are never forgotten. But when I started to read what Jim had sent, I realized I was holding in my hand something far more precious and valuable than anything I had ever discovered in the secular world. This was a ‘publishing moment’ to exceed all others.

For, as I read the text of The God-Life, I realized I was standing on holy ground! From time to time I had heard Jim illustrate his teaching with profoundly impacting readings, but I had no idea that they were extracts from his personalized translations of most of Paul’s Epistles. In his email Jim had said “my teaching days are over”. But what I was reading was so profound that I sensed the very opposite would be the case – Jim’s wider teaching ministry to the whole Body of Christ was only just beginning!

When Jim wrote these personalized translations of Paul’s letters he was doing it in obedience to a personal Word from the Lord, but largely, as he thought, for his own benefit. But now the whole Church, until Jesus comes again, can benefit from Jim Graham’s profound, Holy Spirit inspired, understanding of Paul’s amazing letters.

The God-Life is an absolute gem which deserves to hold a special place alongside the very best of all the modern paraphrases of Scripture. It will be an inspirational blessing to countless other people, as they journey through life to their own finishing line.  It is totally brilliant.

Before publication I sent a copy of the manuscript to various key leaders – and discovered that their response was just like mine:

“this brilliant paraphrase”  George Verwer.  “Nothing short of a spiritual treasure” George Otis Jr.   “A remarkable book” Jill Southern-Jones.  “The God-life is a God-send” Stuart McAlpine. “Brings the Scripture to life” Alistair Petrie!  “This superb interpretation” David Pawson.

And a student proof reader said, “This book absolutely blew my mind! It is so powerful. I can’t wait to buy it and make sure everyone I know reads it.”

Having now got the finished book in my own hands, I can tell you that it’s already become a rich devotional blessing in my own walk with the Lord. If you would like to join me in being blessed by Jim Graham’s ‘legacy’ to the Body of Christ, you can order a copy right away by clicking on this link: https://uk.store.ellel.org/the-god-life.html

Posted in Books That Changed My Life, General | 5 Comments