The Other Room - July 2012

Written by Tim Hancock   

FROM THE OTHER ROOM

2012 will I think be remembered as a year of stories. We’ve had the Diamond Jubilee celebrations with the story of the last 60 years and the events of the weekend. Very soon the Olympics will be starting and we can recycle the bunting from the Jubilee and the silly hats and the flags and cheer on our athletes to gold medal success. I have no doubt that it will be an amazing spectacle and we will join in the celebration of gold medal winners and gallant losers. There will be inspiring images and stories which will be told for many years to come.

Many of those stories have already been told by the people who have been carrying the Torch around the UK. Along with many celebrities and sporting heroes there have been others who until this moment have not been given any space to tell their story. There was 16-year old Ben Fox from Swindon, who only has one leg and wants to win an Olympic gold in wheelchair basketball in 2016. Then there was Hayley Mowbray, 26, from Cheltenham, who teaches at a school for young people with severe behavioural problems. She has been recognised as having an exceptional ability to inspire others and provide hope when all seems hopeless. Twenty-eight-year old Mark Ormrod lost an arm and both his legs when he stood on a landmine in Afghanistan. He was told he would never walk again, yet two years ago he completed a 3,500 mile charity run across the US. And Louis Gill, at the age of 15, cycled 300 miles on an old bike to raise money for an orphanage in Uganda. His nomination story says, “he represents everything that is good in our teenagers and young people”.

Stories are powerful, inspiring and challenging and have the potential to give hope to others.

That is especially true of stories about how God has transformed a life and the difference that Jesus has made to an individual, a family and a community. God is writing many stories and a few weeks ago we heard some stories from people at the church – you can still hear them on the podcast page of the church website). Stories of small beginnings which have grown into lives that seek to honour Jesus in everything, that desire to put God first. And part of the story is Locks Heath Free Church and the people who are part of the church family. People who serve at Toddlers, Oasis, The Edge, Alpha, in fact at the many activities that form part of the programme, longing that through them people will bump into Jesus and choose to follow Him. And of course, those activities can only happen because a group of people saw a need, raised money for the building we are in now and sacrificed to make it all possible.

I know that there are many more stories still to be written in the lives of many more people in our community and we are the people who can take up the challenge to get them started. At our first Gift Day for the new building we thank God for the £114,000 that was given as well as monthly increases in giving, money that will be the seed for more lives to be impacted by the faith, hope and love of Jesus. It has been released so that more stories will be written, more people served, more lives transformed.

That’s the exciting opportunity we are going to continue to be faced with as we stretch ourselves and see the first sentences begin to be written in the lives of people we don’t even know yet. Stories of forgiveness, new beginnings, marriages restored, addictions overcome, debts repaid, futures redirected. Those are the stories that we get to be a part of as we carry the torch and lift up the name of Jesus and as we move forward to see the dreams of a new building become a reality. God can do more than we can imagine.

There’s a flame to carry, there’s a story to tell, there are lives to be changed. It’s our time, it’s our challenge, it’s our opportunity. Let the stories begin!

‘Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ Matthew 5:16.
 
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