Thursday, 12 December 2013

Eternity


A friend of mine who pastors a great church in Sydney inspired me with a post re the work of the "irresistible force" that is drawing people into that particular church as they simply walk past. And to that I say Amen!


But it got me thinking how powerfully and majestically the Holy Spirit works through ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. You know the saying "the devil is in the detail" should be changed to "the Holy Spirit is in the details"……

I love it that the Spirit of God doesn't just work through wonderfully gifted and well-known men and women of God - but He also works through the park bench drunk - like Arthur Stace who was converted at our old home church in Sydney, St Barnabas Broadway circa 1930. Arthur Stace - or Mr. Eternity as he became known - then spent the next 35 years writing the simple word "ETERNITY" on the pavement everywhere he walked.

People walked by and read that single word, the Spirit moved, they repented and their lives were transformed.

I love that the Spirit moves powerfully in and through great churches and great preachers - from the streets of Sydney, to New York to London; and from the ghettos in South Central LA to Pemba, Mozambique. But I love that the Spirit also moves and works powerfully through the anonymous Christmas hamper prepared and given with love; through humble soup kitchens; in and through brokenness; through the recently redeemed - and even through those who are yet to claim any sort of relationship with Jesus.

We serve a great and caring God and a God who cares about every single little detail. Don't you let anyone tell you otherwise. Amen

Blessings

Andie Steele-Smith

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Lessons from the Year 2012

2012 was a huge year for my family and for me in so many ways.

It was an extraordinary year in the modern history of Great Britain, with Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, the spectacular London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Bradley Wiggins becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France and the English Rugby win over the seemingly unbeatable New Zealand All Blacks at Twickenham some of the obvious highlights.

On the world stage 2012 saw many significant milestones: from the continued effects of the Arab Spring in Yemen and Syria; to Hurricane Sandy;   to  the deaths of the great Neil Armstrong, the first American woman in space Sally Ride, Whitney HoustonEtta James and the great author, salesman and speaker, Zig Ziglar.

For me though, whilst 2012 was a year filled with great experiences and significant moments, most of all it was a year of incredible lessons and revelations.


The greatest lessons of 2012.....

1. God IS sovereign

Psalm 103:19

The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all


2. God IS faithful and ALWAYS true to His word

Great is his faithfulness; 
his mercies begin afresh each morning


3. Be still and know that I am God

Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honoured by every nation. I will be honoured throughout the world


4. Nothing can separate us from the love of God

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord



5. My God is a big God

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you set in place 

Jeremiah 32:17

O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! 


6. The things that man intended for evil, God purposed for good!

Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now - life for many people

7. Everything will be alright in the end.....

Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end
Footnote: Obviously this isn't scripture - but I think you will agree that the principle is echoed throughout the Bible


8. The luckiest man alive is the one who has faith in God + the love and support of his faith-filled wife

Hymn to a Good Wife
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. 
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. 
She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. 
She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. 
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: "Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!" 
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!

Footnote: By God's grace this has been one of the consistently best lessons of each of the past 17 years of my life!


9. The Lord's purposes always prevail

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails

10. God is sovereign & absolutely in control

When you accept the fact that sometimes seasons are dry and times are hard and that God is in control of both, you will discover a sense of divine refuge, because the hope then is in God and not in yourself.                                     Charles Swindoll

When we give God complete control over our lives, our joy increases and we can enter His rest.                                     Joyce Meyer

Only what you give away do you get to keep.                   Jimmy Dowds

What a privilege to live in the assurance that God is in control of you and of everyone He allows behind the shield of His purposes for your life.                                                   Bishop T.D. Jakes

If you allow it, [suffering] can be the means by which God brings you His greatest blessings.                                       Charles Swindoll 


So where does this lead me?

Well, 2012 was an awesome year of learning. So my prayer and plan for 2013 is to put these lessons into action.....starting today.

Let me encourage you to praise God for the year that was and to ask Him boldly and expectantly for provision and blessing for 2013; for the opportunity to serve God and bless our fellow man; and for the continued fulfilment of His purposes in your lives throughout 2013. That is definitely one of my prayers for this coming year.

I pray that 2013 might be a year in which Proverbs 3:5-6 is at the centre of everything that you plan, think and do.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6


Be blessed

Best, 


Andie

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Life's a journey - but some journeys are more amazing than others.....


Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

http://bible.us/2cor5.16-17.nasb

I had the privilege of spending some wonderful time with Luke today.

We celebrated his 17th day of being free and clear of heroin, crack, alcohol, gambling - and all of the cyclical problems associated with these addictions.

Actually he started out by telling me what a terrible day he felt that he had yesterday. He said that he had gotten really angry with a guy who had gone out of his way to offended him and that a serious of other situations had really angered and frustrated him. He said that he and God had needed "several long chats" to help him deal with these situations - however in essence, he thought that this constituted a bad day. We are all allowed to have (and indeed are meant to have) "bad" days - don't get me wrong, however, I couldn't help but be SUPER proud of Luke - and thankful to God for what he thought was a "bad day"..... 

You see only 17 days ago, Luke's own response to these circumstances would have been to reach for a hit of heroin and probably a couple of dozen beers >> but in order to fuel/pay for this, he would have had to do various things to get the necessary money etc. So, not only would he have binged on some seriously harmful things, he would have kicked off yet another cycle of things that would have made him feel shame......

I asked Luke what he did yesterday to deal with the anger and frustration that he had felt (and if I am 100% honest I was half-way expecting him pretty understandably to have said that he kicked back a 6-pack of beer) - and yet he said simply: "I prayed!!"
For those of you that have personal experience of addiction (whether first-hand or otherwise) or those who have worked or volunteered in the addiction/rehab space - you will totally get it when I say that is literally a miracle.....

How amazing is that? How good is our God!  

So - 17 days into a totally self-imposed regime of prayer, reading the Word, meditation, exercise and loving on others less fortunate than even he is, Luke is doing BRILLIANTLY.

This journey is one AMAZING journey...... The inside-out transformation in Luke is literally a wondrous sight.

One further and hugely significant moment on this journey was last Saturday night after Street Life (the homeless ministry run by Edge Church Bristol). Luke led the ministry team in prayer but as he did so, he recited the names of so many of his friends who had overdosed and died on each of the park benches in Brunswick Square Bristol - one of the very same benches that Luke sat on some weeks ago to give his life to the Lord. Luke's prayer was filled with passion, praise - and thanks to God. Most of the ministry team were moved to tears.

Thank God - literally - that by His grace and sacrifice, we are more than conquerors!
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
http://bible.us/rom8.38-39.nkjv

ALL the glory to God for allowing us to witness and join prayerfully in Luke's journey. 
If you have a message of encouragement that you feel led to send to Luke, it would be my pleasure to get it to him on your behalf.

Again friends - thanks so much for your prayers for Luke. He still needs them and he tells me regularly of how appreciative he is of the prayers that he is being covered in, from the four corners of the globe. 

Blessings

Andie

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Breathing Life into Dry Bones.....Luke’s Testimony - Part 1

Friends, many of you have joined with me in praying for - and rejoicing over - my friend Luke who gave his life to the Lord about 2 months ago.

Luke is an amazing young man whom has spent 14 years by and large living rough and caught up in a terrible cycle of hard drugs, alcoholism, addictive behaviour, homelessness and worst of all, hopelessness......

In a future post I will tell you a little more about him, his story, his testimony, his absolutely miraculous transformation, the paths he has walked - and the incredible journey for which his sail is set, but for today there can be no better, or more raw or powerful words than those that come directly from my good friend's own pen......

The following words are written by Luke......




Luke's Testimony

MY Aussie mate (who claims to be only into surfing...but I suspect is really a cricket fan!) PS: please remind him of the state of the cricket down under at all times......!
Anyway back to business….. I was present at Pastor Danny Guglielmucci’s talk last Sunday at Edge Church Bristol - and wow he was on fire!


So many highlights, first……
"please do not give individual leaders blind loyalty but only give Biblical loyalty".
Wow prophetic and so true!


The second stand out message was the Gandhi quote:
"If the West concentrated on the Christ of the Christians, rather than the Christians of the Christ my homeland would be Christian".

If my grammer is incorrect and the quote is wrong remember how Danny started...
"I will never be good enough!" 
Sooo good!


My friends at Street Life Bristol have loved me at my lowest point and helped me make my conviction to Jesus and I am no longer the person inside or outside I was. I was once a complete narcotic maniac, with no boundaries, who would steal, lie and do other things to feed my insidious addiction.


Today I gardened in the rain!! And I no longer have the insidious craving for drugs and the need to hurt. To refer again to Danny….
"I will hurt you I will not mean to but I will!"
Anyway my brother and sisters...I look forward to seeing you all soon and I pray for all the dead and dry bones (even those of the Aussie cricketing pacemen!) and till we meet again please take care of yourself for me.


God bless you. Bye for now


Luke




Editor's Note:      
Last Sunday, Pastor Danny Guglielmucci preached a powerful and prophetic message at Edge Church Bristol on Ezekiel 37. It was an incredible word. 


It was hugely prophetic for the Church; for the City of Bristol; for Luke; definitely for me - and I know it was similarly powerful for many others who were there……

We have already seen dry bones being restored - particularly in the gutters, streets and back alleys of Bristol - quite literally this week. Amen!

PS: Before you read the passage, watch the following video - I pray that it will impact you powerfully…….




Ezekiel 37 - A Valley of Dry Bones

The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out.
Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
“O Sovereign LORD,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!
I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons.
Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”
So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished. Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the LORD.
I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the LORD has spoken!’”
http://bible.us/ezek37.1-14.nlt


Friends, let me challenge you to think of the areas of your life in which there are dry bones.


John 14:13-14 says:
You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! 
http://bible.us/john14.13-14.nlt

So let me encourage you to pray, breathe and prophesy life into those bones......


As always, thanks so much for sharing and contributing to the journey

Please feel free to contact me either on this blog or via my website www.andiesteelesmith.com

Blessings

Andie

Monday, 4 June 2012

Seeing people that others miss.....


Guest Blog - by Ps. Michael Harrison

Isaiah 53:6 (NASB)All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
http://bible.us/isa53.6.nasb 

Romans 3:23 (NLT)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
http://bible.us/rom3.21.nlt

We live in a broken world.  There is so much pain and dysfunction all around us.  Because of that pain and what people have done or what they battle, so many people have chosen to turn their heads the other direction.  That is when you see a hurting person or someone who made a bad decision and you move on, you don’t offer to help and you become cold.

Have we become cold to the hurt of the world?  For me that answer is no, but I have to be careful because there are some things that I get cold toward.  It is important that I make sure I am careful to not grow cold or less compassionate.

Hurting people need God.  They need people who will reach out and not worry about things and show the love of God.

Life is messy.  So many of the addictions that people struggle with and the relationships that have fallen apart make life messy.  I believe that God has called us, call His children, to reach out to hurting people.  We don’t need to worry about getting our hands dirty.

In fact God often takes the hurt we’ve experienced and grown through to help others deal with what they are going through.  When you have been where another person is, you can sympathize with them and understand where they are coming from.  You can listen and be compassionate.

I meet all kinds of people.  The church I am honored to serve attracts people from many walks of life, and most of these people are broken and in pain.  God has called us to lend a hand, to help heal wounds, to give second chances and to love like God loves.  That is not always easy, but it is always right.

Do see you broken and hurting people around you?  Did you notice the man or woman on the street corner holding up the sign?  Did you notice the person on the park bench sleeping?  Did you see that kid with the worn out tennis shoes?  Did you hear the rumble of the person’s stomach that you sat next to in the waiting room?

There are hurting people all around us.  When we chose to respond, when we chose to reach out and be compassionate, when we chose to notice the homeless or hurting person, we will make a difference each time that we reach out.

Seeing people that others miss begins with pointing ourselves toward God and notice how God has blessed us.  You may not have much money or much time, but the money you do have and the time you do have can bless another person who has a real need and lots of hurt.

Tommy Barnett said it best in these two lines … find a need and meet it; find a hurt and heal it.  May God help us to see people that others miss.

1 John 3:17 (NLT)
If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion - how can God’s love be in that person?
http://bible.us/1john3.17.nlt




Jude 1:23 (NLT)
Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
http://bible.us/jude1.23.nlt


Bless you

Michael Harrison
http://e-devotion.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/michaelharrison
https://www.facebook.com/pastormh


Editor's Note:
Ps. Michael Harrison is a dear friend of mine. I am hugely grateful to him for taking the time to write such an encouraging and challenging guest post on the Matthew 2540 Blog. Michael is unquestionably a man for whom Matthew 25:40 is one of the cornerstones of his faith and thus his life. From wonderful and encouraging first-hand experience, I can attest to the fact that Michael, his wonderful wife Julie, his beautiful family, his leadership team and indeed his whole church live and breathe Matthew 25:40.

Michael is the Senior Pastor at the Community Fellowship Church in Collinsville, VA.
http://www.thecommunityfellowship.org/

Michael is also the founder and one of the key visionaries behind The Community Dream Center in Collinsville, VA.
http://tcdc.info/

The Community Dream Center (TCDC) is a non-profit outreach dedicated to helping Martinsville / Henry County and surrounding areas. This ministry provides hope by meeting both tangible and spiritual needs.

TCDC strives to help solve moral decay, homelessness and poverty that exist in our nation. The vision of TCDC is to rebuild the dreams of broken people. A new life can be obtained through the efforts of our staff, volunteers, and rehabilitated individuals whose lives have dramatically changed.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

AMAZING Grace (Part 2) .........


Well, the past few weeks since Luke decided to get healed from the inside out have been equal parts interesting, amazing - and challenging to say the least........

You know it seems that the more that God provides in the areas that he wants you to be focussed upon, the more the devil tries to attack and distract you from the things that God has called you to. So, for a whole bunch of reasons - health, capacity, distraction from the main game etc - the past few weeks have been pretty crazy to say the least - for both Luke and for me.

However, despite a crazy season I am so, so thrilled and am blessed to let you know that young Luke is a living, walking miracle. Since giving his life to the Lord a few weeks back - he has dramatically reduced his intake of methadone and alcohol. The Holy Spirit has been healing him wondrously.

I have copied below a series of tweets that I put out just after Luke had made his awesome commitment.
@AndieSS Amazing time with new friend off the street Luke today over breakfast. God is SO providing for Luke. He is coming off his methadone at a rate that his doctor says is miraculous. He has reduced his dose in just 6 days by the same amount that would normally take 6 months!! Please join me in keeping on praying for Luke for continued miracles, for peace, provision, protection & for continued perseverance. Thanks!

Please continue praying for Luke and upholding him every day. He has been writing words of extraordinary encouragement to me - and his yearning for the Bible and for relationship with God have been amazing. However he has also had challenges come his way - but he has handled them so well. Our God is a good God.

Luke has been blessed with the provision of a place in a wonderful Spirit-filled rehab facility - so God willing he will be headed there in the next week or two. That is a HUGE answer to prayer. I know that Luke is already convinced the God's mercies are new every morning......
http://bible.us/lam3.19-36.msg
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: 
God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. 
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times.
Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way: 
When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.
Stomping down hard on luckless prisoners, Refusing justice to victims in the court of High God, Tampering with evidence— the Master does not approve of such things.
I will post more as and when however - to those of you who have sent great messages of encouragement and prayerful support - heartfelt thanks from Luke and me. Please keep praying for Luke though as he has some serious battles ahead - not least of which because the devil will do his best to derail Luke, so powerful will Luke's testimony be - actually, so powerful is his testimony already!

What I do know is that God has a truly great plan for Luke!

When I sat reading Jeremiah 29:10, 11 & 12  with Luke the other day, he was powerfully touched and encouraged by God's promises. You see Luke recognised not only God's promises but also that "his seventy years were finally up" and he was stepping into a season of blessing and of a hope-filled future. Amen!

http://bible.us/jer29.10-12.msg
This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. "When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen.





Thanks be to God for His awesome provision for Luke - for the testimony already lived out - and for the best which is yet to come.

Thanks for sharing Luke's journey prayerfully friends. He is continually amazed and encouraged to know that brothers and sisters all over the world are praying for his continued freedom, recovery, protection - and future.

Blessings

Andie

www.andiesteelesmith.com


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

AMAZING Grace......


Editor's note: Forgive me friends for I wrote this post back in May of this year. I thought I had posted it however just saw that it was not online. So as a prequel to Amazing Grace Part 2 (posted on 2 June) please read http://www.matt2540.com/2012/06/amazing-grace-part-2.html

My next post (Luke's Testimony - Part 1) will then make a lot more sense!!

Amazing Grace.....

For those of you that know me, you will know that one of my favourite nights of the week is Saturday. 

Why you may ask? Well, Saturday is the night that we are privileged to hang out in a slightly more formal way than the rest of the week with some of the poorest, most hope-less, oppressed and life-circumctance-challenged people in the City of Bristol. Saturday night is Street Life night.

Street Life is formally a ministry of the church that I am blessed to call home - Edge Church Bristol; however Street Life is supported, manned, prayed for, staffed, blessed by and loved by at least a half dozen churches in Bristol. In fact a whole bunch of our team members do not call themselves church-goers or even Christians. But I tell you, these guys have the Spirit of God all over them by their words and deeds and it is a huge privilege to share with them.

Anyway, I digress......

Last Saturday was without a doubt the most significant moment in my relatively short period of hands-on involvement with street ministry in the UK or the US. One of our regular guests - an awesome, eclectic, troubled, hugely-challenged, personable, witty and incredibly deeply thinking young homeless lads, called Luke, gave his life to the Lord.

He approached me as we set up the food tables and blew me away by saying that he was about to go into rehab and yet he knew he need to be healed from the inside out FIRST. Wow, talk about taking my breath away!! The incredible thing for me was that this was the first entirely sane, rational and sober conversation Luke and I had ever had. He is an awesome young man but has lived almost 15 years (half of his life) largely in a drug and alcohol-induced cloud. So the tone of the conversation was exciting as a starting point, let alone the revelation that Luke shared with me.

Luke and I shared about an hour discussing God's word - particularly Romans 10:9

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved"
http://bible.us/rom10.9.nlt

Luke then said that he desperately wanted to acknowledge that God was the only answer (the "inside out" answer) to his problems. So right there surrounded by drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes and the homeless in Portland Square, Luke and I bent our knees and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. An unbelievable moment - just incredible. And the most incredible thing is that the start of the transformation in Luke was instantaneous - and in his case, quite literally visible. The scriptures say:
" This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
http://bible.us/2cor5.17.nlt


I had breakfast and shared a couple of hours yesterday with Luke and miracle after miracle is already happening in his life. I will tell you his story at a future point however he has by his own admission, been a Class A drug user for many, many years. In all honesty, for a guy with Luke's recent history, for him to even turn up for breakfast as planned was statistically pretty unlikely - however I knew in my heart that he would turn up. And turn up, he did. When we saw each other yesterday morning, Luke was calm, lucid, not at all jittery and had incredible poise and conviction in his thoughts and words - and the prayer that he prayed was out of this world (literally!!) The Holy Spirit has gotten a hold of Luke and is not letting go. Amen.

When I asked Luke why he was so calm yesterday, he explained that he has come-down or withdrawn of his own volition (yet under medical supervision) from the hard drugs that has been addicted to at the same rate that doctors would normally recommend takes place over a 6 month period. However in Luke's case, he had done this in only 6 days!! That is incredible...... Luke himself is the first to say that this is by the amazing grace of God.

I received a message from Luke today that said in part:
"I am utterly conviced, well i know that my spirit has been shaken and with the obedience to the scriptures and simple actions of faith, i will experience a new world"

To which I say, amen!!

I love that our God is the God of restoration and of making the broken, battered and beaten NEW. His mercies are new every morning.
God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.
http://bible.us/lam3.22.msg

Please join me and the whole of our Street Life, Edge and street ministry friends around the world who are actively praying for Luke today.

Luke's parting shot to me yesterday (aside from a gentle dig about The Ashes....what is it about the English and their cricket??!!) was to say that he dreamed of a day really soon that he would be able to help others be led to freedom - from addictions and afflictions in the same way that he was experiencing. He has a similar dream to mine....but more on that later.

Bless you friends for sharing Luke's journey. I pray that you will help him on his incredible journey - in person where possible, in prayer, with a quiet word of support - even Luke knowing that you have read this small soliloquy will blow him away. Similarly if you are encouraged by his story and testimony, I know that he will be absolutely thrilled. At the end of the day, Luke's testimony; many of yours; and mine are all pretty similar. They are as complex, torturous and yet as simple as the words of that great, great hymn Amazing Grace.
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"
Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures


My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

I pray that you might have been encouraged by Luke's story - as I have been encouraged and privileged by seeing it unfold.

Thanks again for sharing Luke's journey. Please feel free to make contact either by the comments page below or via the contact page on my website www.andiesteelesmith.com

Thanks and blessings

Andie