But, what about me?

Romans 8:5 –

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

It’s crazy how much Paul has had an impact on this generation. Every book in the bible that he has either written or contributed to, has profound relevance for this generation. This verse speaks to me on a mad level. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on things of the flesh. Wow. In one sentence Paul is summarising the entirety of our selfish ambition. We live in a generation that is consumed by self driven motivation, to gain for our own benefit, we live for ourselves or at least we think we do. By living for ourself, we end up falling into the pattern of being consumed by society’s rules and regulations and end up chasing a life that, in actual fact, everyone else is chasing as well. We chase identities that are already taken and ambitions that lead to anxiety. We end up in a vicious cycle of discontentment and a constant feeling as though we were never good enough to fulfil anything of worth. We hide from our weaknesses because we fear if anyone finds out about them, they will disqualify us from reaching our dreams. We have fallen into a pattern of thinking that is so far from what will actually get us to where we are DESTINED to be. I say destined instead of desire because there is a major mix up in those two words. We often confuse our desire with our destiny because we conform our destiny to the environment in which we live , and our environment, our society tells us who we should be. Therefore, our destiny has been dictated by society’s moral objectives and our craving to stand out. Bro… how did i even just write that? No idea where that came from but I like it!

It seems as though our generation struggle to grasp the meaning behind destiny. Destiny is your pre determined future. Your ability to access it though is down to your willingness to be available to God. Your willingness acts as the bridge into where God has called you. Thats why I call our generation, The Joshua Generation. Joshua lead his people to the promise land and is a modern day representation of what it means to pursue destiny. You see, this generation has a call to pursue destiny on a level in which the world will not be able to ignore. His name will be echoed and reverberated for generations to come. We are called to enter into our promise land. But are we prepared to experience what God has to before we get there? ‘Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.’ Fixing our minds on the spirit sounds like it’ll mean we get to where we need to be no problem… right? Nuh uh. Nobody said it’d be easy. In fact, Paul knew this too. Paul often spoke of his own troubles but the letters of Corinth show his incredible transformation from weakness to using his weakness to strengthen him. 2 Corinthians 4:16 -17′Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all..’ In other words we can take comfort when things get tough, because we know that God is crafting our character ready for a life living in the promise of our destiny and it is temporary. Our journey in faith will 100% lead to obstacles, but it is our ability to flip our perspective that really encourages growth. By seeing our obstacles as something that will bring your character closer to God’s purpose for your life, you’ll be less focused on your pain and more focused on your relationship with God. Perspective is everything. Your perspective will drive your faith to reach it’s potential. Not human potential, God given potential. Potential that goes far further than your expectations.

This is the key difference between living a life according to the flesh and living a life according to your purpose or destiny. It is my prayer that this generation hears God loud and clear. Because if we do, this world will be changed dramatically. Countless people will come home.

Tom

But, what about me?

Quiet growth

Recently, i’ve felt something stirring up in my heart. A real desire, a longing to increase my intimacy in my relationship with God. God has been building my wisdom and my drive to reach a generation but right now at the same time i feel like there is a burning desire to experience his intimacy.
I get the sense that God is pouring an anointment onto this generation, to lead but also to be intimate with him. Intimacy is what will create the ability to not only lead but live a life fully.
This thought process came about when watching a video i was sent a few months back. I have no words to describe this video other than it reflects a glimpse of what God’s intimacy feels like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHRWo-TrjXQ
My prayer is that God really breaks me. That I’m so overwhelmed and in tune with him,  that my life can’t help but fulfil it’s destiny. Just a normal guy, with a heart for a generation projected into a life he could not even imagine due to his intimate relationship with his father. Even typing this right now at 12AM on a just gone Tuesday evening, I’m close to tears at the sheer intimacy and the feeling of being loved. I can’t help but be consumed by it. It feels like my whole faith and everything I’m destined to do will be built around this desire for intimacy with my dad. My preaching, my servant heart, my day to day life, all of it.
Im in a strange season at the moment. Im in a season in which i am completely consumed by my faith, and its amazing, but then at the same time I’m struggling with things like feeling unvalued and a fear of missing out. Comparison is a dangerous thing and i have to watch how i place my perspective in this, because i can easily look at my peers and look at the opportunities that they get and feel inferior and question why it’s not me. There is a burning passion inside me, which makes me overflow with excitement because i can feel what God is doing inside me but its accompanied with frustration that other people are getting opportunities that i would love to have but I’m having to bite my tongue and allow God to continue guiding me through this season of quiet, powerful growth, trusting that my time is coming and when it is there, i will grab it with everything i have. It’s almost as if I’m in this season so that when i reach the next everything i do and see is consumed by heaven and my destiny has no choice but to fall into place. I can’t wait for that time, but the real victory is being ok in whats happening right now. God has gone before me, tomorrow has it’s own worries and events and God is in control of that, but what he wants me to do right now, is focus on the current because my future is taking care of itself. So for now, il continue to spend time in this quiet growth, expectant that it leads me to everything i feel called to.
Thats all i got. Its not my usual deep thought orientated post but I’m moving into a new level of relationship with God and i just needed to get this out and be vulnerable.
Tom.
Quiet growth

The journey so far

Yes! I am still alive. Things have just been so crazy that i haven’t had time to write anything of decent value to let you know how things are going! This post will just be catching you up with what Academy is doing in me and my experience of it so far 🙂

We’re just about to finish our 4th Week and next friday marks a month since academy started. Theres been a few more long days, not 16 hour days like i mentioned in my previous blog post but still pretty long. The thing with those though, is that your ability to endure is all about your perspective, you can either sit there and let your attitude make it horrendously difficult and make you look like an idiot, or you can use a perspective in which you understand the purpose behind servantheartedness and why we are at church at 12am packing things down sometimes, and use that to not only benefit others but use it to build yourself up too, and that space you create in your head there is what will transform you into a real leader, someone who has a heart for people and a heart for God’s calling on their life.

Lectures have been A M A Z I N G. I love hearing and absorbing everything these incredible leaders have to offer. Pastor Dave pretty much pours his brain out and speaks for 3 hours which is both exciting and thought provoking, Pastor Colin teaches us about Acts, the wisdom shared in these lectures are like no other! I’m getting so much out of it, it re clarifies why i felt called to academy, so that i can receive everything God has for me, ready to be projected into a future in which i will never put a barrier on because i know God will blow me away with what he’s going to do through my life.

I GOT A JOB! in fact, me and Hannah (My girlfriend for those who don’t know me) got a job… AT THE SAME PLACE. Thats like unheard of. There was a touch of God over the whole process. We’re going to be working a TGI Fridays near the huge shopping centre in Sheffield, 35 people were invited to the interview and only 8 turned up, probably because people couldn’t be bothered because we had to bring talents to showcase to everyone, which is good for me, but what does that say about this generation? Time to wake up guys! I’ll stop here on that before this blog post turns into me going on about this generation again… another time! Anyways, yeah so we smashed the interview and then we went for individual interviews. Me and Hannah both had different interviewers and it turned out to be perfect as the personality types of each interviewer suited us down to the tee. 2 days later we were told we had the job! All of this comes after the first fruits offering at Church, where we aimed to raise £150,000 (Which we now have gone above btw!) for the Hope City locations overseas and partially for the refugees in Germany. Giving in Church is a highly sensitive subject and a lot of people have strong opinions on it. My opinion is that if you give what little you do have, and know that God can multiply he will not only bless others with your generosity it will bless you over and above as well. God never said wait until you have this much, he said give what little you do have and he takes that and does wonders through it. Theres mine and Hannah’s first fruits answered! So buzzing!

So yeah, thats just a small glimpse into my world at the moment. I’ll write again soon!:)

Thanks guys!

If you want to help me out financially you can do so here – paypal.me/thecountercultural

Tom

The journey so far

The 16 hour day.

Hey!

First proper blog post of the Hope City adventure!

It’s been an interesting first week. Our first day was Wednesday the 14th, all the introductory stuff and meeting our new classmates. Both me and hannah have settled in well, everyone seems to get a long pretty well. The first day was a shock to the system, we spent the whole day trying to take in SO MUCH information. I mean we took in so much i can’t even remember anything. That was from 9:30AM until around 5PM.

At 7:30 that night,the church had an event on which we had to help run and accommodate for the night. So from 5 until 7:30 we were helping set up and all that jazz! The event finished at around 9:40pm, and we now had to pack down. There was platters of food on each table and there was around 25 tables. Add to the equation 4 candles per table, 6 or so glasses and what not. At this point we were already dead and were really struggling to come to terms with the task. After packing down, we had to reset the venue for Sunday, another 600/700 chairs. We were tired, it was 1am by this point. We walked home like zombies.

That night was really tough. For a lot of this week i’ve felt quite overwhelmed with anxiety about the whole year, finance, my own weaknesses and so on. It just felt impossible to be able to do this type of thing. I started missing home quite a bit and it felt as though things were collapsing in on me and we hadn’t even properly begun. As the week progressed, i’ve somehow started to digest everything and my head is at a much more positive place than it was at the start. I’m really starting to realise how God is going to use this to craft my leadership. I want to be a leader that leads from the bottom and not the top. Lead from my experiences, my heart for people, rather than leading from an ego. I’ve really struggled in the past to be servant hearted, but now i feel like i’m getting somewhere. I feel as though my ability to serve with a heart for people is growing. Im still digesting everything but i feel as though this is doable and i can really start to dig my hands into the ground with this. God has really provided peace, and my pain is being used as a platform for God to reach others.

We’ve just finished the majority of the first week and im starting to get excited about what God is going to do in me this year. My vision for my generation and my ability to reach them is only strengthening, through means i didn’t think would. Lectures with Pastor Dave Gilpin start next week, i’m really looking forward to that! Your prayer is appreciated so so much. Il write another update towards the middle of next week.

Thanks so much for the support, if you wish to support me financially, you can do so here – Donate

Tom

The 16 hour day.

Moving day…

At the time of writing this, it is the day before moving day. Moving day will be too busy to post anything so i’ve written it the day before so it can be posted tomorrow!

The time is finally here… i get to go out and do my own thing now. I’m not sure how to feel if i’m honest. It’s a strange kind of feeling, im sad to leave my family, saying goodbye to my little brother Matthew is gonna suck… really bad. I don’t think i’ll be able to get excited until i’ve settled in. It’s bitter sweet, but the sweet is delayed a little. Yeah, it’s hard to write a blog post about this because i can’t find the words to sum up how i feel.

Yesterday we ( Me and Hannah, my girlfriend) said goodbye to our friends and extended family. It was so nice to just have all the people who were important to us in one place, just to enjoy their company. We wont see any of them until Christmas now, so we’ve got 3 months of finding our feet in Sheffield.

I highly expect there will be a big culture shock. It’s kind of like when you go on holiday and it takes you a couple days to adapt to the environment. I think after the original culture shock dies, i’ll be able to settle in and regain composure.

This blogpost isn’t going to be very long because theres not much else to say, but i would like to take the opportunity to thank a few people for their support in helping me get to this position.

Thank you to my Zion family. The opportunities you have handed me have formed the person i am today, i will always be a product of your investment and generosity. In particular, Jon Needham – For being my church Dad. To Leon – Thank you for leading the church in such a direction that people like me can receive such investment. To Andy, for seeing my potential and pushing me out of my comfort zone.

Thank you to my parents. I know it’s been tough guys. It’s been a long journey getting here, one that has been incredibly difficult. No matter how many times we fall out, disagree on things or no matter how many times i have driven you insane with my messiness i will always be grateful for sticking in there with me. i love you both.

Thank you to my brothers (that includes you Woody 😉 ) –

Matthew – Your cheekiness can brighten anyones day. You’re an incredibly clever lad and i love you tons. It makes me sad to have to go because i want to be there to support you all the time, but by going i want you to know you can do whatever you want to do when you’re ready to go out into the world. Do what you enjoy doing buddy, nothing else. Be good for mum! ;D

Josh – Kinda sucks that we’ve just started getting on well just as im about to leave. Good luck at college mate, i know you’ll be fine.

Woody – Just keep on being you 😉 Less of the barking when someone leaves the house though yeah?

Im going to sign off this post here. I’ll write another one in a few days when things start to happen. Thank you for reading guys:)

If you wish to support me financially you can do so here –

https://www.paypal.me/thecountercultural

Moving day…