Blog.

01.04.20

So it’s the 1st of April and it already feels like it’s been the longest time since work finished, schools closed and COVID-19 took over conversations. In my house, we’ve already played many board games, read several books, baked, made some Tik Toks and done more exercise than normal just because we can. What’s been your lock down activity? 

I don’t know but in the midst of so many of these moments of my day or week, I can sometimes feel overwhelmed and completely out of control of what is happening. And even though there are fun things I’ve done, people I’ve chatted to etc, I’ve still had times where it’s felt strange and weird at where we have found ourselves. 

In these times, taking a moment, spending time with God, reading the bible, talking to someone your trust, messaging a friend, taking some time away from social media- these are all great things to do.

This week I listened to this song and wanted to share it. Maybe you’ve not felt overwhelmed at all- listen to it anyways and maybe you could share this song with a friend? I hope that in the midst of all the craziness today you find the peace and security that comes from knowing Jesus.

30.03.20

What’s your story?

Gina from OTC

My passion for telling people about Jesus comes from the way he has repaired my life.

The Bible tells us that when we don’t know what to pray, God himself will pray on our behalf and work for our good. I’ve seen this throughout my life. When I was 12, I’d experienced a lot of brokenness. My mum and dad had a horrible breakup: I used to go to sleep every night to the sound of screaming and shouting, and then all of a sudden I was in a house with no dad. I began to self-harm and battle suicidal thoughts every day, and to make up for how worthless I felt inside, I’d be even crazier on the outside – going to parties, getting drunk to escape my real problems and never telling my family where I was. My life was a mess and I saw no reason to sort it out.

‘If I hadn’t heard the good news, who knows where I’d be right now’ I didn’t think I was worth fighting for.

But Jesus did fight for me, and over time the truth of how much he loves me began to speak louder than the lies I was letting myself believe. Jesus, the son of God, loved me enough to die for me on a cross to forgive my mistakes so I could experience life with God forever. When Jesus was dying he knew it was going to change the course of my life and that’s why he did it. Jesus is the loving, forgiving Saviour I so desperately needed and still need.

But only Jesus can really mend our brokenness. If I hadn’t heard the good news, who knows where I’d be right now. This is why I’m passionate about sharing it with others – I’ve seen how God has transformed my life for good and I know he wants to transform lives everywhere. So many people feel lost, hurt, or trapped, and they need to know the only way to a repaired life is through Jesus. He has the power to turn every dark situation around and the world needs to know it.

27.03.20

How is everyone’s Friday going? How has your week been? Has it been good, fun, relaxing? Or has it been tough, tiring and unsettling?

It’s super important to be aware of what we are feeling/ thinking/ experiencing, but it’s also important to view all of this in light of the truth we know comes from God and seek what he says about how what we are feeling/ thinking/ experiencing- he cares about these things!

Challenge for today: So on this sunny Friday after a strange week, I want you to take some time just to be, think about what you’re feeling and remind yourself who God is by reading this following Psalm (it’s a long one but worth it, I promise)

Psalm 104

Let all that I am praise the Lord. O Lord my God, how great you are!
    You are robed with honour and majesty.
    You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
    you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
    you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
    flames of fire are your servants.[a]

You placed the world on its foundation
    so it would never be moved.
You clothed the earth with floods of water,
    water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled;
    at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank
    to the levels you decreed.
Then you set a firm boundary for the seas,
    so they would never again cover the earth.

10 You make springs pour water into the ravines,
    so streams gush down from the mountains.
11 They provide water for all the animals,
    and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds nest beside the streams
    and sing among the branches of the trees.
13 You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home,
    and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor.
14 You cause grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for people to use.
You allow them to produce food from the earth—
15     wine to make them glad,
olive oil to soothe their skin,
    and bread to give them strength.
16 The trees of the Lord are well cared for—
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests,
    and the storks make their homes in the cypresses.
18 High in the mountains live the wild goats,
    and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes.[b]

19 You made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to set.
20 You send the darkness, and it becomes night,
    when all the forest animals prowl about.
21 Then the young lions roar for their prey,
    stalking the food provided by God.
22 At dawn they slink back
    into their dens to rest.
23 Then people go off to their work,
    where they labor until evening.

24 O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
    In wisdom you have made them all.
    The earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
    teeming with life of every kind,
    both large and small.
26 See the ships sailing along,
    and Leviathan,[c] which you made to play in the sea.

27 They all depend on you
    to give them food as they need it.
28 When you supply it, they gather it.
    You open your hand to feed them,
    and they are richly satisfied.
29 But if you turn away from them, they panic.
    When you take away their breath,
    they die and turn again to dust.
30 When you give them your breath,[d] life is created,
    and you renew the face of the earth.

31 May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
    The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
32 The earth trembles at his glance;
    the mountains smoke at his touch.

33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
    I will praise my God to my last breath!
34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;
    let the wicked disappear forever.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

26.03.20

How is everyone today? Hope you’re having a great day and enjoying the sunshine which has surprised us.

Today’s bit of Luke is short but sweet (well, depending on how you look at it!) So grab your books and let’s read together (page 32-33 in Luke & Acts/ Luke 6:46).

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

So, context! By this time Jesus isn’t still a baby, he’d grown up and people had started hearing about how crazy amazing things happened wherever he went. He’d done an all-nighter the night before. Not the kind we’ve probably done but he’d spent the whole night praying and talking to God up a mountain. And now he goes back down the mountain and loads of people have crowded around him to hear what he has to say – he always has something good to say. And this bit of the Bible is just a snippet of everything he said (feel free to read more!)

Jesus is saying there are two kinds of people – people who hear what he says and puts it into practice and those who hear him but don’t do anything about it. And I bet you can guess which is the best person to be! He describes these people as two different houses. When floods come one of them crumbles and one of them isn’t even shaken – the one who hears his words and puts them into practice.

We may be having gorgeous sunshine and not be in danger of any floods where we are, but with everything that’s going on at the moment it probably feels like an overwhelming flood for a lot of people. And maybe you’re feeling a little bit shaken. But it’s so encouraging to know that we won’t be shaken when we realise what ground we are standing on. And the amazing thing is that Jesus only asks us to do things that are for our own good and that will lead us to good things. He never wants to harm us. 

Challenge for today: Spend some time with God – what does this mean? Maybe it just means chatting to him, or reading the bible, journaling, time with God doesn’t need to be perfect to be powerful. If you want somewhere to start, try praying this prayer before you do whatever you’ve planned:

God, help me to see you

God, help me to hear you

God, help me to know you

I want to run after you.

25.03.20

What’s your story?

Dan from Amongst Wolves

If I discovered a cure for cancer, I would tell as many people as possible. I wouldn’t be able to shut up about it because it would be some of the most important news the world could ever hear.

The good news is we have something even more important than the cure of cancer – the answer to life itself. Our world is broken and divorced from God, and the consequences lead to suffering and death. But I know that the cure has come in Jesus Christ – how could I keep silent?

The weight of this news drives me to tell everyone I know about it, as I desperately want my friends and family to share in this hope that I’ve found. Sometimes it can feel super awkward to bring up Jesus in a conversation, but I have found that people are often really open to talking about faith. In fact, more often than not my friends will even happily let me pray for them.

The more I share my faith, the more of a joy it has become. Sometimes people get it instantly, sometimes it takes years, and sometimes we never see the end result of our conversations – but I believe that God wastes none of our efforts and uses all of it to draw people back to him.

It’s never been our job to convince people, but simply to tell them the good news and then leave the rest to God.

Challenge for today: Take a moment in the sunshine to think and pray about who you would love to share this incredible news and truth of Jesus with. Then take another moment to come up with a plan of how you’ll share this with them today, it could be a phone call, FaceTime, text, in person. But let’s be people who speak truth today remembering it’s up to us to tell them and God who does the rest.

24.03.20

Hey everyone! Here we go… lock down! A lot is changing in our country and in all of our lives. But there’s good news – the Bible never changes! It’s the word of God and I’m so glad that God doesn’t change even when it seems like everything else is changing. Don’t want to get ahead of ourselves but the bit of the Bible we’re reading today says ‘The word of God will never fail’. 

I thought we could look into the first chapter of Luke today. So, if you’ve got your Luke & Acts handy, let’s read this passage together (page three):

Luke 1:26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favoured woman! The Lord is with you!”

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favour with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail.”

38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

​I know what you might be thinking – err why are we reading the Christmas story in March? But this isn’t just a story for Christmas. This is a rescue mission! The whole world was in chaos because everyone was turning away from God and choosing to go their own way. But God couldn’t leave it like that, he loves us too much. He had a plan! That’s something amazing to know about God – whether we choose to go with it or not, he ALWAYS has a plan. The best plan. Even now, in the midst of COVID19, he has a plan and has not forgotten about us and he always cares about us. 

His plan was Jesus! If you’ve been to the Higher gigs you’ll know we talk about this all the time (because it’s the most life-changing thing ever). Jesus, God’s own son, gave his own life so that we could live in relationship with God. 

Maybe we wonder sometimes why this was God’s plan. Maybe it can seem a strange kind of plan. Either way, we can trust that this was an amazing plan – it means everything for us! 

And right now God still has an amazing plan for the world, but also for us individually. 

Challenge for today: Maybe today you could pray and thank God for his plan to save us all and ask that he’d show you more of his plan every day? 

23.03.20

How is everyone doing? Today is probably a bit weird right – no school, being at home, not seeing your friends and the whole world talking about the same thing – Tik Tok… and Coronavirus. 

Most of us involved with The Higher Tour have been working from home for nearly a week, which for us means a lot of coffee and speaking to each other on Facetime. But one other thing we’ve tried to maintain as a department is reading the bible and praying on our own but also as friends.  

We think it’s super important to maintain the good habits of reading the Bible and prayer as much as creating new habits on FaceTime and working or studying from home. 

So we encourage you to see if you can come back here every day for some thoughts, an extract of the Bible to read through and a thought/challenge for the day. Let’s see if we can set an example of bringing light and hope to a situation that is super challenging for so many at the moment. 

Tomorrow we will start by going through the book of Luke from the Bible. Some of you will have a copy of this from our recent tours, but even if you don’t have a physical copy, you can check out this app if you don’t have a physical Bible. https://www.bible.com/app

Challenge for today – Who can you text/call/Insta message/Snapchat today to check-in and ask these questions? 

  1. How are you feeling today?
  2. Is there anything I can pray for?

See you back here tomorrow for some thoughts on Luke!

20.03.20

Welcome to the Higher Life Blog!

As the Higher Team, we wanted to make sure that even though we might be physically isolated we aren’t spiritually or socially isolated.

So starting on Monday we will be posting something here every day including: 

  • Thoughts around everything that is happening at the moment
  • Social distancing tips 
  • Stories from some of our bands
  • And we’ll spend some time looking at the Bible – especially the books of Luke and Acts

We know that it’s a strange time and there is potential to feel worried or scared. But that doesn’t mean you have to go through this alone. As the Higher Tour, we are choosing to put our trust and hope in God, even though so much around us is unknown. 

So check back in here on Monday and in the meantime make sure to follow these guys on social media for more content:

@thehighertour

@brightlineband

@soulboxband

@weareamongstwolves

@otc.band

Challenge for today – How are you feeling right now? Breathe, pause and read the following Psalm (a book in the Bible), then pray about whatever it is you’re feeling and remember our hope comes from God.

Rest in God alone, my soul,

for my hope comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my stronghold; I will not be shaken.

My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock.

My refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him.

God is our refuge. Selah

– Psalm 62:5-8