Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Faith, Miracles

If God has given you a dream, don’t give up on it.

I have been asked recently, how did I come to UCB? Where did this journey begin?

I want to share with you a few thoughts about the power of having a God-given dream.  If God has given you a dream, do not give up on it.

I first came to the UK in 1973.  I was a rebellious young man, running from the Christian upbringing I had been given.  I wanted to strike out on my own, but it didn’t take long before I realised that I missed the precious atmosphere of God’s presence in my life.  I went to visit my brother who was attending the Assemblies of God conference in Minehead.  I had not planned to go to the actual conference, just meet up with my brother, but I stayed for the meetings and I had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit which changed my life.

After that experience, I put myself before God and asked Him, ‘What do you want to do with me? What do you want to do with my life?’  I felt God encourage me to believe for the impossible and He put a dream in my heart, of going all the way to the Boardroom.  At that time I was a janitor, so I did not see how that was possible, but I began to seek God’s Word.

I believe God gave me insight into the verse in Genesis 1:28, where God said to Adam; ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’   For years, we have read this as a command to have children and populate the earth, but I believe this is also a command to be creative and fruitful in whatever we turn our hands to.  By reading God’s Word, I began to develop business principles to live by and over time,  God allowed me to become very fruitful.

I started out as a janitor working for a national retail chain and before too long, I became a warehouse manager, moving to store manager until eventually (after 23 years), I became the Head of their national discount chain. God had truly fulfilled His promise to me, to take me to the Boardroom. It wasn’t because I wanted the ‘position’ or the power. It was because I believed that God wanted me to be fruitful in what I did. However, I had to learn some painful lessons along the way.

In 1988, the business was going very well and my wife and I had a good life, when very suddenly, we lost our 13 month old son Jamie. Our lives were devastated and we cried out to God for answers, trying to understand what God’s purpose was. However, in years to come, God gave me a very powerful burden for the children and youth of the world. I had seen my own son die and I couldn’t bear to see the young generation spiritually dead and eventually leaving this world not knowing Jesus as their personal saviour and friend.

Over time, God brought me into contact with the wonderful organisation OneHope and eventually He led me out of the retail industry, to work full time as a missionary with OneHope. Those were challenging times but God was so faithful to our family.

I served in that capacity for five years, and then through a mutual friend, I was invited to a meeting at UCB. During my time in retail, the Welsh singer Bryn Yemm had sung in many of our stores. He was also a friend of UCB and had said to members of the leadership team at UCB, ‘you need to meet this French guy’. I was initially invited to share my testimony on air and I had the opportunity to have coffee with Ian Mackie, the founder and at the time Chief Executive of UCB. Over a long period of many prayerful conversations with Ian Mackie, I eventually joined UCB, initially as a Trustee and later as Ministry Director. We were later able to merge OneHope UK into UCB.

And then in 2010, after many faithful years serving as the Chief Executive, Ian Mackie took on additional responsibilities with UCB International. This eventually led me to take on the role of Chief Executive.

There have been difficult times in our ministry journey, but God has been faithful to the dream He gave me in 1973.   If God has given you a dream, be faithful to His Word and don’t give up.

 

David-Blog8

Christianity, Evangelism, Healing, Hope, Miracles, Spiritual healing

God is still in the miracle-working business.

A few weeks ago, our wonderful friend  RT Kendall came to speak at UCB’s Foundation event.   It was such a privilege to spend time with RT and his wife Louise – they are being used powerfully to help others understand God’s Word.   RT has a great knowledge of the Bible, but he also lives what he preaches and isn’t afraid to be honest about the tough times they have  experienced in full time ministry. It was such a blessing to have them here to speak to some key leaders from around the UK. The talks will be on UCB TV soon and will also be available on UCB Player.

DavidandRT

A few days after hosting RT and Louise, I went home to France to spend time with my brother Daniel again at their church’s evangelistic mission which took place in three locations.

I am always amazed at the level of expectancy in the churches, not just from all the churches’ members but also from people (often non- Christians) who have been invited.  To me, expectancy, coming and fully expecting that God will do something, is a fertile ground for God to move in and transform lives.

We have once again been overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness, grace and mercy.   Over 50 people stood to receive Christ and many more came forward to request prayer.  They were facing many terrible situations; physical, emotional, domestic, addictions and more, but all came ready and expectant to receive a breakthrough. We have been doing these mission for two years now and every time we receive testimonies of transformed lives and incredible healing.  We also encourage people to seek and bring medical evidence of what has happened, wherever possible.  Angers

There are so many stories I could share, of people who have been set free from cancer, alcoholism and who have received Jesus, but it was particularly great to talk to Dominque. Six months ago after prayer, Dominque recovered full sight in both eyes.

She has just been given her driving licence back and is now able to drive to church. She is also being trained for a new job and is looking forward to going to work! Dominque

I had the incredible privilege of baptising her last Saturday during a special evangelistic event.

I am again reminded of Hebrews 13 where the writer reminds us that God will never leave us nor forsake us and that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever.   More than 2000 years have passed since Jesus was physically here, but He hasn’t changed.  He is still in the business of changing lives, healing broken bodies and bringing freedom to souls.

If you are trusting God today for your own miracle, can I encourage you to approach Him with expectancy, knowing that God loved you so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that if you believe in Him you can have eternal life.   Just as a child approaches their Dad with an expectation that they will be given what they have asked for, we can approach our Heavenly Father in the same way.

Keep believing!

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Evangelism, Hope, Miracles

God is still working around the world.

I was in Florida a few weeks ago to attend the Hope Celebration with our long-time friends and ministry partners OneHope.   OneHope is a wonderful organisation which is reaching millions of children and youth around the world, with the Good News of Jesus.  They produce a lot of resources, including Book of Hope and the Bible App for Kids which has been downloaded over 10 million times.

The Hope Celebration was a time for leaders to gather, pray, fellowship and hear what God is doing through the ministry.    One of the speakers was Pastor Andrew who works in the Sahel region of Northern Africa.    The team there is working in a very difficult context where the practice of Voodoo is very common and the terrorist group Boko Haram also has a lot of power.   Boko Haram is the group which kidnapped over 270 young girls in 2014 and is regularly involved in horrific violence across the region.  Despite these many challenges, God is working powerfully and the Good News is still being shared in many creative ways.

Pastor Andrew shared a story about a day he came face to face with some terrorists deep in a forest while he was travelling.   Ahead of him, he could see a group of heavily armed men advancing toward his car and so he started to pray.   Eventually the group surrounded him and then demanded that he drive them to the nearest town. As some of the men got in the car with him, Pastor Andrew  said he felt the presence of God come and (very boldly) he decided to give each man a Book of Hope.      There was silence but Pastor Andrew could see that each man was reading the book.  After about 10 minutes, he asked the men if they understood what they were reading and they said they did.  He then asked if they would like to give their lives to Jesus!  The men agreed and they stopped the car right then and each prayed to receive Jesus as their Saviour.

When the group arrived at the nearest town, Pastor Andrew was able to show them a nearby church – and today (over a year later), those men are baptised and part of a church.

Stories like these fill me with such hope, as I hear how God is moving around the world in extraordinary ways.

As I wrote recently, it can be easy to look at the world’s headlines and think that God is silent.  But I am reminded of the words of Jesus in John 16 where He says;

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

Praise God that no matter what our newspapers say, we still believe and know that through His death, Jesus has indeed overcome the world.

Please do pray for the vital work of OneHope, in reaching children around the world.

DLH BLOG - APR 16
Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Easter, Forgiveness

What Easter means to me.

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian family. My father was a minister and Easter was always a very important time for us. A lot of the local churches (in my home town in France) would get together to hold special meetings.  We had speakers and worship and it was an exciting time for the churches to work together on evangelism.   I have great memories of those days!

Today, Easter is just as special for my family and I.   It is a reason to celebrate the gift of life that Jesus has given us, through His death.

The team at UCB know that I like to use acronyms and a few years ago I shared the below with friends and supporters of UCB.

E.A.S.T.E.R.

ETERNAL– (John 3:16) – Through the gift of His son Jesus, God the Father offers the gift of ETERNAL LIFE to all those believe in Him.

ACCEPTED – (Ephesians 1:6) – We are ACCEPTED in Jesus Christ.

SAVED – (Ephesians 2:8) – Anyone can be SAVED if they believe – because of God’s Grace and God’s unmerited favour.

TRANSFORMATION – Only real and lasting transformation takes place in Jesus Christ.  (2 Corinthians 5:17) – “If we are in Christ … we are a new creation …. old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.”

ENDURES – (Psalm 100:5) God’s love ENDURES forever.

RISEN– (Luke 24:34) Meaning He is alive today and we have access to a living and true God.

Here is a link to one of my favourite worship songs, ‘Forever’ by Kari Jobe.  It is a tremendous and powerful song that describes the fullness of the Easter message.

Let’s never forget that, ‘Forever He is glorified, forever He is lifted high, forever He is risen, He is alive, He is alive!’  It reminds us that we are worshipping a true and living God.

I learned as a young man, that the Gospel has the power to transform every life, even the most broken and at UCB, we often receive letters and emails from people who have experienced it for themselves.    Sid O’ Neil discovered God’s love after a terrible accident which left him with serious injuries.  He experienced the power of the resurrection, which changed his life.  Thank God for His sacrifice and for restoring countless lives.

Can I encourage you this week, to take time to consider what the resurrection means to you?  Why not tell your story to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity

Trusting God in the middle of the storm

It has been a busy week.  I am just back from a short but inspirational trip overseas where I spent some time with Bob and Debby Gass, before attending the Hope Celebration and then travelling to meet UCB’s global partners in Brisbane.   I’ll share some encouraging news from this trip in another blog soon, but it is a great blessing to see and hear the amazing work God is doing around the world.

Back at home, our family was remembering an important two year anniversary.    In March 2014, our son and daughter-in law were expecting their third child, when our daughter-in-law Debbie was taken very ill.   To this day, the doctors cannot confirm for sure what happened, but an infection caused her body and organs to shut down.   Very sadly, at eight months pregnant, Debbie lost their baby and was soon in a fight for her life as she slipped into a coma.  It was a desperate time for our family and I felt personally that we were in a very intense spiritual battle and that we had to fight.   The team at UCB and so many dear friends gathered around us and prayed for Debbie’s full restoration.   We did not know in human terms what would happen, but we held on to God’s promises.   I felt God was saying to us repeatedly, ‘I am with you…I will not leave you…this storm  will pass’.  His Word was a rock we were depending on, our anchor in an uncertain time.

Debbie

The breakthrough came about seven days later. We visited Debbie one evening when she was still in a coma, attached to machines.  The following day we went to see her and she was sitting up in a chair and eating a meal.  Praise God for His faithfulness and His goodness! We know that our miracle-working God was with us during this terrible trial and that even in the middle of a fierce storm, He would not leave us.  Today, Debbie is fit and healthy.


About 6 weeks after Debbie was very ill, I went to France to join my brother Daniel, for a crusade at his church.  As a family, we had been through loss and heartache, but had still seen God’s faithfulness in the middle of the storm.  Those next few weeks in France were very powerful – we saw God work in a mighty way, through many people being healed, restored and saved.  God was bringing testimonies out of the many tests we had faced.

Experiences like these remind me of this verse, ‘The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.’ (Psalm 92:12 (NIV). Palm trees are designed to withstand severe tropical storms. When the storm comes, they bend with the wind and rain. It looks as though they are breaking, but they are actually just bending. When the storm passes, the area where the Palm tree has almost been torn in two, is actually stronger than it was before the storm. During this difficult time I felt God saying, “You are like a palm tree in the storms of life, but when it passes you are going to come right back up stronger and will flourish more than ever before”.

As believers, the Prince of Peace lives within us.  We can look at the storm and feel as though we will break.   We can easily forget that He who is in us, is greater than the circumstances that we face.   If you are facing your own storm or tragedy at the moment, I want to encourage you to trust in His Word.  He promises to never leave or forsake us and is our Rock even in the middle of the fiercest storms.

Have a blessed week.

David

 

 

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Uncategorized

God’s plans are so much bigger than ours.

Hello

I often meet with the UCB staff team and in our meetings, will share what is on my heart that week.   The team has been encouraging me for a while to write down some of these thoughts, so here is my first blog post. I want to use the blog to update you on things at UCB and also share some of the things that have impacted me during the week.  We may even persuade some of our visitors to write ‘guest blogs’ from time to time as well.

This week, I have been thinking about a wonderful lady we hosted at UCB some weeks ago; Margaret McGuckin.  Margaret was put into an institution as a child, due to severe family problems and while there, she endured terrible abuse and trauma.  When she left the institution  (as an older teenager), she  didn’t understand what it meant to be loved and believed she was damaged forever.   But God had a different plan for Margaret’s life and after several years of being in trouble with the authorities, God met Margaret in a remarkable way and touched her life incredibly.  She discovered that having a personal relationship with Jesus was the key to being truly loved – her life began to change from that point.

Margaret (and her friend Kathleen) came to visit us a few weeks ago, so that we could share her story on UCB TV and radio.   I had lunch with Margaret and Kathleen and although I was saddened to hear of the trauma she had suffered in the past, I was excited to see how she was using what had happened, in order to powerfully help others.  Part of Margaret’s healing was reading the Bible every day, along with The Word for Today.  She said that the Word for Today is very much like an appetiser for God’s Word and she now tells everyone to read it, as a way of encouraging them to get into the Scriptures.   It was exciting to hear of her passion for God’s Word and the big impact she is having on so many other people through her testimony and campaigning.

 

Margaret’s story is a Holy-Spirit reminder to pick up and read our Bibles.  We are so blessed as a nation to have access to God’s Word in a way that many others don’t, but many have lost the discipline.  I call the Bible, ‘The Divine Manual’ – if you want direction or instructions, you always go to the manual.  And yet when we need instruction in our lives, we often first go to friends or to the Internet.   Our good friend R.T Kendall (who will be our guest at UCB on March 22) recently wrote a wonderful blog post about the importance of going first to God’s Word;  How much do you read your Bible?

Can I encourage you this week, if you are facing difficult times or need God’s direction (or re-direction) in your life, go first to God’s Word.  God has given us the Scriptures as a divine source of wisdom and instruction for every situation we face.  Margaret McGuckin found healing and new purpose in God’s Word and I know personally through my own life, that wisdom for many of life’s problems can be found in His Word.

As you seek Him this week, I pray that you will be blessed!

David