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I'm a passionate writer - and therefore spend most of my time writing thriller novels. But I also live an interesting life in the nations. This blog is here for that aspect of my life - our life - I live with my wonderful wife and two daughters.

I believe in encouragement. I live for obedience. I believe in learning from our experiences, and this blog exists for both of those, and more.

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I was part of the leadership team in St Petersburg, Russia - which planted Hope Church in 2009.(www.hopechurchstpetersburg.com).
In March 2012 Hope Church sent my family to plant into Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia. I therefore lead this small but growing church plant team. Here is the website for Hope Tallinn (www.hopetallinn.ee)

For details on our journey here, read the series called Adventures of Faith which is linked for you on the right hand column, just below. That details our original journey to Russia and then onto Tallinn 4 years later.

Author for fiction novels - Cherry Picking (2012), The Last Prophet (2015), The Tablet (2015) and The Shadow Man (2016) are available on all major bookselling sites. Please visit: www.timheathbooks.com

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

God Speaks - Angels - Part 4

Welcome to the latest part of a series that I'm calling "God Speaks..."
Over these nine entries, I want to look at some of the ways that God speaks to us (it's not an exhaustive list of course - I'm sure others can add to it!). Because He does speak.  All the time.
Because God is real, because He loves us and because He is good - He speaks.
Usually, it's us (mere people!) that fail to listen or maybe fail to understand that it was God speaking to us.
I want to share from my own life, as practical examples, some of the ways God has spoken to me.  In all, I want to briefly look at these nine ways that we hear from God:

Dreams (click here to read this section)
Visions & Pictures (click here to read this section)
Through Others (click here to read this section)
Small Still Voice
Burning Bush
Audible Voice

Personally, I've experienced six out of these nine ways listed - and as we go through the series, I'll make these clear how that happened.  So, here we go with the next part!

Part 4 - Angels

This is the first of the nine that I can't say I've personally (yet!) experienced. I do believe that I have seen an angel, on at least one, maybe two, occasions.  But they didn't say anything to me very profoundly, so this time I'm not going to draw examples from my own life, but reflect through the stories of others the very real way in which sometimes God chooses to send a messenger to us to share some news.
It's November.  Soon it will be Christmas.  All around the world, in many countries, little children will be rehearsing for the Christmas nativity.  Many of these will dress up in white and play the part of angels.  The Angels that brought 'good news that will cause great joy for all the people.' 
In this one story alone, the angels appear on many separate occasions.  There is the first appearance to Zechariah (Luke 1:11-20), then to Mary (Luke 128-38).  This is followed by the Shepherds (Luke 2:9-15).

I like the verse in Luke 2:21 that says: "On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived."

Angel in Greek means messenger.  As we see here, the message was clear and understood!

And it tells the overall theme - the theme of this series - God speaks!

Angels appear throughout the whole Bible - from the Old Testament, when we are told they appeared from anything such as a donkey to a night wrestling with Jacob, all the way through to the New Testament - as like with Jesus' birth, so it was with his death that angel's were there to share the news - first that he was no longer in the tomb and once again when he'd ascended to heaven.
Each time passing on the message - the Saviour of the world has come.  He's not dead - he's risen and now is reigning.

King's of the world have come and gone - they have ruled with power and reigned for maybe fifty years (if they were lucky!).  Jesus came and ruled with love, and reigns for eternity.  The contrast is clear - and angel's were central in bringing this important message home.  The world needed to be clear - The King had come!

Now let me say one more thing about angels.  The world famous singer Robbie Wiliams once sang a smash hit song "I'm loving angels instead."  This is not their role, nor are we to focus on them.  They are messengers, and by spending too long in conversation about them, we forget the message - that Jesus is the Christ.  He is God.  That anyone who believes in Him, can have eternal life.
People love the spot light.  We (often) love to be centre stage - and yet, on our own, we cannot solve the issue of sin and death that we are born into. The message of Christmas, and then 33 years on at the first Easter, is that the spotlight is not on us - it's on Jesus.  And what Jesus did was done once and for all.  Our part is nothing - it's all about what he HAS done - past tense. No need to continually pay anymore - He paid once and for all.  It cost him his life but He died for you.  It really is finished!

And it's a rather amazing message to have been given to us - where-ever you first heard it from!

Next up - how God speaks to us through the Bible....