In his first video of Series 4, this is more of a special Edition Andy B video!
With all that has been happening recently, Andy B has been finding sleep rather elusive!
Afghanistan; vaccination passports; President Biden; forced covid vaccinations for under 12s in Finland; global temperature fluctuations being used for political control and financial gain; China and Taiwan; a forced Home Education register in the UK – there is much to see around us that can easily cause us anxiety and worry.
But, as Christians what is God calling us to do?
What should our response be to these things that are currently shaking the very foundations of humanity?
Andy B takes stock and shares some encouraging words and focus for all of us.
Some people writing songs to help people find the words to describe how they feel. Some people draw and paint to literally illustrate their emotions. Andy B makes videos to encourage all who love and fear God, and call themselves Christians.
If you want an encouraging post, check this one out by our friends over on The Overcomers Blog - Worship will never disappoint you. This post blessed us this morning , A L O T. And we hope it will brighten your day a little too!
So another Andy B 2, er, 2 Minute Video, maybe a bit more this morning, we'll see.
We've taken a break for a few weeks. So this is my first one of these I've done for a bit.
Erm, but, I've lost quite a few nights sleep recently. And, erm, there's, there's lots of stuff in the world. As I, as I was writing down some ideas for this, for this video and Afghanistan has just happened. The Taliban have marched into Kabul, erm, less than a week ago. We're seeing Christians murdered, raped, slaughtered, er, while the media, erm, tries to talk about how the Taliban are gonna help women's rights, and they've got a seat on the UN Council for Women Rights, and the Swedish Government are there talking about feminism in Afghanistan and, and, and women are being being murdered and raped, erm, in Afghanistan.
One woman was shot, I think 2 days ago, because she didn't happen to have a burka on.
Erm, we know what what the Taliban is.
We know it's, it's, it's an extreme end of Muslim religion and it, and it, and it kills people and it's horrifying to watch!
In the UK, at the moment, we've got a talk of a UK register for Home Ed, Home Educators. It's a forced register.
I wrote to my MP. I said look, you're ignoring every single leading academic on the subject. You are refusing their information, their advice, their input, their research. You're, you're not wanting to listen to it. That's not right. A forced register. The only people in the UK who were on a forced national register are sex offenders, and you wanna to put home educators in the same camp as being forced to be registered?
I said the Jews were forced to be registered. When this happens, it's never a good thing!
I wrote to my MP. A really pathetic response. I'm not even going to bother quoting it.
Erm, I'm really, overly, disappointed. Erm, I'm not necessarily a Tory fan here in the UK, the Conservatives, but I'm shocked to see a Conservative government pushing for a socialist agenda. That in itself is a bit weird!
Er, interference in the home at a government level, allowing people who have no right, or time, or skill, or training, to be in a person's home against their will, with no right of recourse. There's no accountability, and they can dictate what happens to your children in the future. That's not OK!
But Afghanistan, as tragic as it is, and it's brought me to much prayer.
As terrifying as this idea of a forced National Register in the UK for Home Educators is, and how evil that is at its heart, they're not my battles, and this is important.
Erm, Focus, Time, Distractions and Calling is what I'm calling today. And they're not my battles. I know that. I've been before God. I know that the UK home Ed Register that somebody else's battle. It's not mine.
As people we have a finite amount of time!
We can't do everything before us!
We can't pray for everybody!
We can't help everybody!
We can't be everywhere!
I'm seeing people in Finland. I just want to give him a hug and say I'm so sorry you're going through this.
I've got a friend in Nigeria. I wanna give him a hug and say keep going, go for it!
I want to be all over the world and help people and say, it's OK, God is with us.
I can't do that. I don't even have a passport. I couldn't leave the UK if I wanted to. Forget COVID vaccines.
But we only have time to do what God wants us to do. We, we can fill it with all sorts of things, and it's very easy to be distracted.
Erm, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It may not be a biblical phrase, but it kind of nearly is! And actually it's got a lot of truth in there. And how often do we, do we easily get distracted by doing good when we're not supposed to be doing what's good? We're supposed to be doing what's godly!
If you've been walking with Jesus for a while. If you're a follower of Jesus Christ, then you're probably OK at, erm, like I am, at, at, at working out evil and good. You can see what's good, and you can see what's evil, and the devil knows that.
So what does the devil do? Well, he doesn't focus on what's really obviously terrible. Erm, i's often been said he doesn't go around very often with red horns and cape. We, we'd know what that was.
So how does the enemy go around well he distracts us?
I've lost many nights sleep recently, because I'm worrying, and I'm anxious about the home Home Ed Register here in the UK, which is a terrifying prospect. It's, er, it's so close to Nazi Germany it's shocking, erm, that particular policy. And Afghanistan, which is utterly abhorrent and terrible. Er, I was quite pleased, at one level, to see the UK Government as a, as a whole, as all the MP's, holding, erm, President Biden in contempt for his actions and his attitudes of touching wood, and people are falling from planes 'Oh well, that happened days ago'. That, that's not a presidential response!
So what am I doing this morning with my Andy B 2 Minute Video that isn't 2 minute today?
It's a bit of a one off!
Well my ministry, my focus, my goal, what God has God put on my heart to do, is stuff like this. To try and encourage Christians. That's my mission. That's my goal. It always has been.
Back when I started, erm, leading worship, contemporary, modern worship when I was ten years old, I was involved in worship leading for children. At 15 I was leading, erm, 20-30 Christians, sometimes on a Sunday morning. I was leading, that was the band. I was leading. I was 15 and I was leading worship and I was encouraging Christians to worship, to, to come towards God. And that's been my heart for the last 30, 40 years of walking with Jesus.
I'm 44 now. I became a Christian at 7. My heart is always "how can I encourage Christians in their walk?".
I love evangelism. I love preaching. I had the privilege of preaching with 800 people in a church in the UK. It was a Christingle service. They were all coming for their nice, safe, 'we light a little orange thing and we say some nice things, we hear a brass band and we do some songs, it's all nice, Christmassy, stuff'. And I gave the gospel because that's what I have to do. I can't NOT do that.
It was a privilege to preach to those 800 people and say "Jesus died for you. Christmas is great, Easter is even better. Christmas gives us hope. Easter gives us the reality of that hope on, in action when Jesus died for your sins".
As I look around the world, there's so much that can distract me from, from my purpose., my calling, my primary focus.
I should pray for Afghanistan and I have been, at night time, when I can't sleep. I'm praying for Afghanistan. I'm searching through different bits of news to know how best to pray.
I'm praying about the, the, the forced you, erm, vaccines on under 12's in Finland 'cos it's breaking my heart that that could be happening.
I'm looking at America, North America, and thinking is there a Civil War on the cards. 'Cos I'm looking, here from the UK, and thinking what on Earth is going on over there?
All these things need prayer! We should pray, and we are praying!
My wife and I next week it can be fasting about a personal situation that's coming up in six months time. We want to put a week of prayer and fasting into that.
I don't say that to sound good you should be fasting and if you're not you should be! Fasting is what we do as Christians. If you want to walk with Jesus, then fasting isn't something that's nice to do if you feel like it. We pray and fast, that's what we do. Next week we're fasting and praying for a whole week.
How do we get through all this stuff in the world?
I suppose in a sense this video today is me trying to respond to some of the hurt and the pain.
Some people write songs. Some people write an amazing post. I read a fantastic one this morning which I'll put in the comments, erm, but there's stuff that's gonna to encourage us.
My first thing, every morning, is to go to Ding Dash. An amazing social media platform created by the fantastic people at Back to Jerusalem, erm, out of a Chinese vision of, of putting basically drawing a line from China to Israel is kind of my really basic understanding of it, and evangelising that area and going from between China and Israel and, and evangelising.
Well, they've put this amazing thing together. And my first thing every day is just wake up in the morning. Before I get out of bed I switch on Ding Dash, and I look through. Does anybody need prayer? Great, I can pray for those things. And I look for encouragement because that's kind of what people do on Ding Dash. It's great. Not everybody! But that's a lot what I get from there. And it builds me up.
And I hope that, in a sense that, what I'm doing is my effort of trying to respond to what I'm seeing in the world of bodies dropping from, erm, a C5 Galaxy that's flying from the US Air Force, out of Afghanistan, and people desperate to leave and I I don't know how to respond to that. I have no words and I I haven't, I haven't really got the opportunity to do anything directly because I live in the UK. I can't do anything about the situation.
I can write to my MP, and I can do this and that, and I can try to find ways of giving money to people who are doing stuff, but I can't do anything myself.
So what is God asking me to do myself? Yes, pray, absolutely! Never belittle prayer!
But what is God calling me to?
I, I can't, I can't be with those people in Afghanistan that are terrified. I can pray for them.
I can't do anything about the Home, Home Ed Register in the UK. It's a cross party Select Committee that's been happening for 10 years ago, the 'Badman years' as they were known, because of the person that was leading that charge.
It's a disgusting attack on democracy and Freedom of Speech in the UK.
But I can't do anything about it because they won't listen to anybody in that room, but I can pray
But what I can do myself is this. This video. Stuff like this. This is my ministry. This is my passion. It's about encouraging Christians to keep going for Jesus Christ, to keep your eyes focused on the prize, which is an eternity in heaven.
Everything we're going through here in life, as Corrie Ten Boom said, 'it's all about preparing us for heaven'.
Let's not be distracted by what we can't do anything about.
We can get ourselves into such a knot, in our in our hearts, and our minds, of trying to do something about everything that's going on in the world. And we can't, we'll fail.
So if we can't do everything, we need to do what God is calling us to do, and each of us has a calling.
My calling in ministry is the BerryBunch, our website, our videos, the stuff we do, anything, sort of hopefully, erm, uplifting like Dave the Dog stories, through to Little Blessings, through to Endurance which is there to try and build you up in your faith, week by week, which is something our older children, erm, Stephen and Nathan, who are 16 and nearly 18. That's their project. Something they do to try and encourage you.
All this stuff is trying to build up Christians. That's my heart and my passion. It has been for nearly 4 decades.
My wife is far more passionate, and interested, in how can we evangelise. Mine is how can we encourage Christians.
If you want to look at it this way, I think about the inside of the church. Jo thinks outside the church. How can we encourage people to know Jesus better?
And one of the simplest ways we can do that is learning to say 'no' to stuff we shouldn't do, and staying focused on what God is asking us to do. Because when we get distracted by the good, we can't do the godly.
And the good is good. It's, it's enticing us to to do good things. But that's not necessarily what God's calling us to do.
So my very much more than a Two Minute Video today, and that's fine, I don't care, that's hey, there you go.
But, er, my 2 Minute Video today is make sure you stay focused on what God is asking you to do.
God is asking me to create videos through BerryBunch, with my family, to encourage other people. To hopefully draw them nearer to Jesus. To encourage them in their faith. To provide free resources, whether it's nursery rhymes that are biblical that you can use in your toddler group, in your church, or whatever it is. We're trying to provide free stuff that can encourage you in your faith. That's our primary calling and ministry at this time.
It took me a long time to accept that what we do is ministry. I just thought it's what we do.
Well, actually it's our ministry and it's a bit more than that because we've been living by faith for the best part of 10 years plus. I mean, 15 years really, when we started this journey, but certainly the last decade.
We've been living by faith in so many ways of not caring what people think, but focusing on Jesus. And what's the difference of living by faith? Well, for me, it's about, erm, investing in your ministry, rather than your home. And not all of us are called to do that. That's not, never think of this as value stuff, and it's not more valuable, more important or better. It's just a different way of walking with Jesus.
It's our journey.
It's our path.
So what's your journey in your path?
Yours may be ministry. It may not be.
It may be supporting, er, your local church fellowships through having a really good job, and working hard at that, and diligently, in order to put money in, so we can buy Bibles, and care for the sick, and the vulnerable, and give them food.
There's all of us are on a journey, and we've all got different parts of this body that come together, to make up the whole body of Jesus Christ.
I'm bit clumsy 'cos it's my second cup of tea that's cominn!
But what is God calling you to do?
What is he calling me to do?
My anxiety, and worry, of the last week or two, when I saw what was going on in Afghanistan. It grew, and it grew, and it grew and it started to consume me.
Well, that's not from God.
God may well stir our hearts to things, but what it should do is stir us to action, not stressing.
It's a bit like rocking on a rocking chair. There's loads of movement you're not going anywhere. That's what worry is, and that's what I've been doing, and I'm not happy with that. And God's really encouraged me and empowered me through a couple of things that I saw on Ding Dash this morning, and I'm ready to do what God is asking me to do again.
Hence this video and I've got a few more to do. And we're gonna get back into filming. And then, in the coming weeks, we've got more projects coming up, and we've got a a marriage podcast, erm, coming up in October that Jo and I are doing to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and we want to try and encourage Christian, married, couples, you know, we've been around for 25 years, we've got a few things we've learned along the way. Let me encourage you. That's our heart and passion!
What is your heart and passion? What is God calling you to do? Do that with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your strength, and the worry will kind of disappear. Because when we're actually doing what God's focused us to do, we haven't got time for worry.
One of the ways I think about worrying is when we got too much time on our hands, we start to worry because we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing.
So what is God calling you to do?
What is your focus and you're calling from God?
What is he asking you to do today, this week?
Where is he asking you to focus?
Is he asking you to fight a particular battle? Possibly? We're called to stand, yes, but what's He, where, what is it we're supposed to be fighting? We're in a war as well. You have to excuse the terminology, and the language, a little bit.
But where is He calling you to be and to do?
It maybe to go out to Afghanistan, and help some people, and rescue them? That maybe your calling. Great. Go for it. Do it with all your heart, and strength, in faith, knowing that Jesus Christ is with you. Do it prayerfully and biblically.
But where is God calling you?
What is He asking you to do?
What is He asking me to do? Well He aint asking me to lie awake, at night, worrying and being anxious about stuff I can't do anything about! Apart from pray, and prayer is important. So pray about stuff.
But do what God's asking you to do, so you're not distracted by the enemy, to the nearly godly, 'cos it's kind of really good. Oh let…
Let's do what God's asking us to do.
I know the UK Home Ed register is disgusting, and as terrible as it is. As much as it's drawing us back towards Nazi Germany in the 1930s, that particular policy is evil, it's not my battle. I'm praying about it, yes, but I need to leave that for others to fight. I know that very clearly, and I am.
But I've got other battles to fight, and one of my battles is my own insecurities about doing stuff like this. Does anybody care or listen?
I know they do, but I still fight with the insecurities. But this is my calling!
So what's your calling?
Just a thought.
Written by Andy B