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This weekend our church are holding a Prayer Burn.  People have booked a room and will spend it alone for an hour, with God.  The event runs for 24 hours and the 48 spaces were booked within a few hours!  That’s a good sign!

Our HKC Youth are joining in in a slightly different way.  We’re meeting as  usual with with a prayer/worship focus.  I’ve got some amazing speakers who are real genuine “praying” people and some great testimonies and practical interactive stations for people to give it a go.  One station even has M&Ms.  Seriously.

Prayer is so powerful because it joins the hearts of people on earth with the heart of God in heaven. When we pray, we connect with God, and He affects our daily lives beyond our comprehension.

I believe prayer is one of the greatest powers available in the entire universe. That may seem like a radical statement, but it’s so true!

Prayer opens the door for God to work. It is the activity that we can engage in on earth when we need the power of heaven to come into our lives and bring wisdom, healing, hope, direction, encouragement or a miraculous breakthrough. Prayer connects us to God, and that is why it is a greater “force” than anything else we can ever imagine.

Only God’s power can bring peace, instill joy, grant wisdom, impart a sense of value and purpose to a person who doesn’t know what to do in life.  Prayer changes us and it changes circumstances.

Do you want to see that power work in your life? Then make prayer a priority.

Prayer is very powerful.  It changes us from the inside out and does change things in our world.  When I was first saved I joined a girls prayer group.  It was scary.  I didn’t know the right words or anything.  I spent ages just listening before I dared to pray out loud.  A funny thing though – it was a really messy time for me, that transition from being not a Christian to being a Christian, changing the way I lived.   And when I missed a prayer group meeting they would pray for me and there would be dramatic changes.  I broke up with a guy who was not a Christian.  And then I dated another guy and guess what, missed the prayer meeting and broke up.    Even just last week I had twisted my ankle at the zoo and got prayed for on Sunday and woke up on Monday with it fine.  Yay Jesus!

Prayer can change your family, change peoples hearts, give you ideas and strategies.  But most importantly, prayer connects us with the heart of God who loves us, who loves you.

Prayer isn’t just an empty box to tick off on your to-do checklist. Every day you get to speak to the One who created and is sustaining a universe.  That’s amazing!

But now think about this:
The same God who knows the names of every star knows your name.
The same God who is holding the universe in the expanse of His hands is holding you in His hands.

Prayer is so much more than the puny, ordinary thing we make it out to be. And that’s because the One we’re praying to is not only so much bigger than we’ll ever be able to comprehend. But also so much more willing to respond to us than we’ll ever be able to comprehend as well.

You might be as small as a grain of sand, but you have a privilege no star or galaxy will ever have. Take advantage of it today. Lay your requests before God. And wait in expectation.

You may have noticed that it’s been pretty quiet round here.  Fingers crossed SOMEONE has noticed!

I’ve been loving my new role as acting Youth Pastor at the River and am finding this first month pretty busy both people wise, leader wise and administrative wise.  Lots of my mental and creative energy has been going into making forms, flyers and some leadership development material.  And I am LOVING it!

I have also started my Life Coaching Course and after day one on saturday I am stoked that God has led me to this course and particular group that are attending it.  There are some interesting characters but it was wonderful as one of them asked me some very direct and interested questions about my faith and so I got to share and put it out on the table.

Here are a few visuals to show you what I’ve been doing:

Beach Bash Jan 2015

HKC YOUTH  Read the rest of this entry »

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2014 definitely ranks as one of the best years of my life.  in part it is to these wonderful guys and gals above in the photo – The SAS (Set Apart School) Students and pastors.  Set Apart has been my great love and passion for this year.

Set Apart is a one year course for school leavers heading to university education or university students moving on to start new jobs or launch their career.  It is like a gap year, with a part time course for young adults to be equipped and trained with great foundations for life – no matter where they are going next.  The course is split over 6 days with 2 days of class material and learning, 2 days of serving in the Kingdom of God and 2 days of part time work in the marketplace.  This ensures students are not just sitting in a classroom, but actually putting into practice new concepts as they learn them.

The course is divided into 8 different areas that cover every part of life including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects.

Set Apart is designed to equip students in the same 8 areas of life that Daniel and his friends excelled in (Daniel 1:3-4) so that no matter where the King leads each one, His light can shine.  The 8 areas are: identity, physical, vision, presentation, learning, relationships, discernment and attitude.

This year I have done so many new things as a result of my involvement with SAS.  I have taught sessions on topics that were new to me too – speaking 3-6 times each term.  I have also written and marked all the assessments for each student.   I have been blessed to hear many phenomenal guest speakers, both church/ministry speakers and practical life skills (note taking, car maintenance, hospitality etc).  I have loved watching our students grow exponentially.   SAS fills my heart.

In 2015 we have deferred having students and will be working on getting the course govt accredited and prepared for relaunch in 2016.

 

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Last night I had my first night at HKC youth….  I officially start in January and so wanted to make the most of seeing what happens now and how things click together.   I felt incredibly priv’d to be at what turned out to be an incredibly special night.  Many young people felt the presence of God for the first time and it took me back to my own youth group days when I first got saved and knew that God loved me.  This is why I said “yes”.  This is it.  This is the real deal.  This is what life is about.

*  photo is me speaking at youth camp last weekend

advance river

On Sunday night we did something radically different for church.  We went down the road to an another church, Advance Church, and had church together.  The River, and Advance.  Together worshiping, together loving, together building the kingdom of God.  The service blended River people and Advance people on stage together, with a River person doing the Advance notices, and an Advance person doing our notices.  I was priv’d to speak on the offering (a rather impromptu message!) which we took up to bless our hosts.  Both pastors shared and also we had short messages from two youth leaders, one theirs, and one ours.  It was a phenomenal night, blending together to worship Jesus and encourage one another.  There was a moment after all the messages where we prayed in groups for one another and then had a space of some free worship.  It was a distinct holy moment as two became one, we were loving One Lord, we were One Body, in One Spirit, in One song with One purpose.  One God.  One Church – many expressions.

It’s beautiful and important to love your church.   Love your church, get connected, get serving.  Become a Son of the house.

It’s also beautiful and important to love the Church.

A win for another church is a win for our own church.  A win for Advance Church is a win for The River.  There are so many lost, hurting, hungry people in East Auckland that it will take 4000+ strong local churches to reach them all.  We all have a part to play and an expression from God that will reach out and touch the world around us.

We are One Body, but with different roles and purposes.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in youall. Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV

HEALED BY JESUS

It has been a month to the day since I got completely healed from severe  multiple food allergies.

The miracle happened at our church, The River Christian Church (Auckland) conference – HIS PRESENCE Conference | UNCONTAINABLE.

The conference itself was phenomenal.  The worship went off in every session.  Each message was bang on and relevant and God’s NOW words for me and so many others.  It was great to connect with River people and friends from other churches, and of course, make new friends.  Our kids had their own River Kids conference and had an amazing time discovering more about God and His great love for them.

I felt that the message on the Friday night by Paul Saunders was just for me.  It was so where I was at – or more importantly, so where I need to be.  It was about no limits and how nothing is impossible with God.  He challenged us to live uncontainable lives, believing that God is the God of no limits and all possibilities and to lift our expectation.

I left that night after the ministry time, where I encountered God in an amazing way, full.  Satisfied.  Challenged.  If nothing else happened on conference I would have been happy.

Then Saturday morning happened. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is God real?

Does He heal?

Twice now I’ve hinted at an incredible life changing moment in my life.  Again its still so amazing and I’m in awe of what has happened.   Now that you know my backstory I’ll go into what happened on Saturday and since then.

Over the weekend our church, The River Christian Church (Auckland) held HIS PRESENCE Conference | UNCONTAINABLE.

It was phenomenal.  The worship went off in every session.  Each message was bang on and relevant and God’s NOW words for me and so many others.  It was great to connect with River people and friends from other churches, and of course, make new friends.  Our kids had their own River Kids conference and had an amazing time discovering more about God and His great love for them.

I felt that the message on Friday night by Paul Saunders was just for me.  It was so where I was at – or more importantly, so where I need to be.  It was about no limits and how nothing is impossible with God.  He challenged us to live uncontainable lives, believing that God is the God of no limits and all possibilities and to lift our expectation.

I left that night after the ministry time, where I encountered God in an amazing way, full.  Satisfied.  Challenged.  If nothing else happened on conference I would have been happy.

Then Saturday morning happened.

When Pastor James Anson (Faithpointe Church, Auckland) got up to speak he begun with some words of knowledge for healing.  He had words for people with carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, left ankle issues and then…

Severe food allergies.

I was sitting in the front row.

I stood up.

I dont know if it was audible or tangible, but I felt everyone behind me “oooooh, its claire!” with a sense of expectation.  This isnt just my story.  It is a story for our church.  They all know I’m the food allergy guru and how the allergies have altered my life.  They know my backstory and have walked through the journey with me.

I have been prayed for many many many times over the past 10 years for my allergies.  More so in the last 3 years.  I am always very happy to be prayed for because I have always believed that one day I would be  healed and that one day would come, one day.

Until blind Bartimaeus was healed, he was blind.  Until the lame man was healed, he was lame.  Until Lazarus was healed, he was dead.  I was in my until.  Until I was healed, I had food allergies.

As you can see in the photo at the top people gathered around me (and the other people who had stood up) and prayed.  Like I said, I have been prayed for many times for healing.  But this time was different.  This time had the YES of God on it.   The presence of God was very strong and I was beginning to feel incredibly warm and and and… words cant really describe it.  It was amazing.  I knew I was healed.  Beyond shadow of a doubt.

Towards the end of being prayed for I felt strongly that I should test it and act in faith.  Just as those who had the sore ankles and wrists would be asked to do something to see if they were healed, so I too could do something.  I have been asked to eat after being prayed for but have always politely but firmly declined.  But there was something different about this time.  When Pastor James asked people to test it I said to my friends who had prayed “I’m going to eat caramel slice!” I dashed off.

As part of the conference our church puts on a lunch, including baking and I had watched people bring in platters of amazing baking.  Including caramel slice.

I freaked my friends out.  Seriously.   One asked if my epi pen was in my bag, prepared for the worst.  Remember, only 3 weeks ago I reacted to wheat products.

I got the caramel slice and took it back into the church.  And ate it.  Oh how sweet and good it was!

We then all sat down again and waited.  A few minutes later I thumbed up my best friends, all good.  No reaction so far.  No facial tingling.  No hives.  No itch.  Twenty minutes past.  No tummy pain.  No dash to the bathroom.

No reaction.  At all.

Praise Jesus!  All glory to Him!

Since then I have eaten something every day that would have made me react.

Banana cake.

Turkish Delight Chocolate (yeah thats a naughty one!)

and today – bread.  Normal bread.  Gluten full bread.

My life is changed.

Jesus has changed my life.

Jesus has healed me.

I have had my UNTIL moment.

It’s incredible.

A miracle.

Nothing is impossible for God.

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The other day I hinted that I had something incredible to share with you.

Four days onwards I am still finding it hard to wrap words around what has happened.  Its that momentous.

Let me begin with the backstory.

For a number of years I had some serious health struggles.  I was always exhausted.  I was always sick.  My skin was raging with eczema.     My vitamin and mineral stores within my body were depleted.  Life was becoming gray.  I was always at the dr and spent a few years constantly being on and off antibiotics for various sinus and skin infections. The only solution was to take antihistamines and go to bed.  Nothing was changing.  Progressively it became worse. Read the rest of this entry »

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I have something incredible to share with you all…

but as yet I still havent been able to find the right words.  I havent been able to wrap words around how amazing it is, how amazing God is.  Yes, I’m speechless!  I want to tell the story and do it justice in a way that people would know that God is real and that nothing is impossible for Him.  I want to tell it in away that conveys the magnitude of what this means for my life.

I’m awestruck.

Amazed.

I’ll give you a clue.

That’s me getting prayed for at our #HisPresence14 Conference at The River over the weekend.

And I got healed.

Seriously healed.

Life changedly healed.

Watch this space for an update later in the week!

Uncontainable (1)

In the Old Testament the presence of God dwelt in The Ark.

He then filled The Temple.

But now the Holy Spirit is within us.

The power and presence of God dwells within us, as believers.

The same great power that was in The Ark, the same might and holiness that resided in The Temple and Holy of Holies is in and through me.

God doesnt want to be contained but wants us to live and move and have our being in Him, to release Him into the world to touch those around us.  He wants to be uncontained and unconstrained in our lives, demonstrating His reality, goodness and greatness.  He wants us to live with no boundaries when it comes to knowing  Him and making Him known.

He doesnt want to be contained in a box, or a building, or even a person.

He wants to be uncontainable

 

There is something about the true Presence of God that just can’t be kept quiet! Wherever Jesus went, the Holy Spirit within Him broke through conventions, institutions, culture and mindsets – and it was never long before EVERYONE knew that He was there!

Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit doesn’t just want to fill us with His power… He wants to empower us to be His witnesses. He wants to break into this world through us – and His is a story that can’t be kept secret, and a power that can’t be contained! (#HisPresence14 – The River Christian Church)

Check out the promo video for our His Presence Conference starting TODAY: https://vimeo.com/97580047

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