Eddie the Eagle


Just seen the Eddie the Eagle movie. The story about a plasterer’s son with a dodgy knee who ended up representing England at the 1988 Winter Olympics. It was much better than I was expecting.

Two main elements that caught my eye. The first was that, once again, the father/son thing was a key emotional pulse in the film. All the way through the film Eddie’s father was unhappy with him and kept trying to discourage him. He wanted his son to be a plasterer like him, but Eddie wanted to be an Olympic athlete. At the end his Dad was proudly wearing a jumper that said “I’m Eddie’s Dad”. He embraces his son and says:

I’m so proud of you, son.
I mean that. I’m so proud of you, mate.

Eddie says “Thanks Dad”.

Then there is the father / son type relationship between Peary (Eddie’s coach) and his mentor the great American coach Warren Sharp from years ago. Warren had said, in fact published,  that Peary was his greatest disappointment. Yet at the end, Warren embraces Peary and says “I was wrong about you”. All classic father/son movie stuff pointing as it does to the eternal Father/son relationship in the trinity and our adoption as sons into God’s family.

How do you square unconditional love with making your dad proud? Jesus, the Son, has the Father’s approval because of his perfect obedience. We, through trust in Jesus and his achievement, have the Father’s approval in Christ. The approval that falls rightly and continually on his obedient Son falls moment by moment on us through faith. Brilliant. In that context of course, we begin to grow up to be like Jesus, obeying our Father and enjoying his “well done son”. There is no contradiction there. You can enjoy your Father’s unconditional approval yet feel the joy of his “well done son”.

The other theme in the film is doing your best and going for it even when you are not going to win any medals and even through everyone and everything is trying to discourage you.

When Eddie first meets Matti, the number one ski-jumper in the world, he won’t even give him an autograph. Then when Mattie sees Eddie’s bravery and determination he says this:

You and I are like 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock. You see we are closer to each other
than to others.Winning, losing, all that stuff is for the little people. Men like us, we jump to free our souls. We are the only two jumpers with a chance to make history today. If we do less than our best with the whole world watching…it will kill us inside.

The film ends with this quote on screen, made by Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin, which kind of puts the lie to the British Olympic Associations comments to Eddie earlier in the film (see below):

The important thing in the Olympic games is not the winning but the taking part. The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.

I was so inspired by the way Eddie didn’t even flinch when people tried to discourage him. When they laughed at him, he just carried on. He didn’t even seem to weigh up whether he should quit. He just said “thanks very much” and kept on going. Keeping his eyes on the goal. Which was to take part.

Eddie’s dad:  Eddie! You are not an athlete!

Eddie : I was just after a few tips, really.
Peary: Give up, there’s one for free.

British Olympic committee: These companies pay to be associated with certain qualities. Excellence. Achievements. Victory. Strangely, they have no desire to be associated with ludicrous antics and defeat…we will not have amateurs in the Olympics.

Norwegian coach: Stupid Englishman. I bet he’s dead by the weekend.

When Peary reads these comments by his old mentor Warren, he decides to help Eddie:

Peary was the most naturally gifted ski-jumper I ever trained. And he’s also my biggest disappointment. He should have been my greatest champion…but his focus was not always on the mountain. He never understood that a true Olympian was not just about a God-given skill set. It’s about never giving up, no matter what. Knowing that doing your best is the only option…even if it results in failure. Bronson Peary was my biggest disappointment.

In reaching for healing I feel a bit like Eddie the Eagle. What a crazy, silly thing to do. “God will never use you to heal anyone, give up. Stop all these ludicrous antics. God doesn’t want to be associated with defeat”. I guess one difference is that most people are very encouraging but we have an enemy who is the master of discouragement and he never gives up.

But the ultimate goal is not success (that has already been achieved by Jesus on the cross), it’s doing, with all my strength, what God has put on my heart to do. It’s living for his “well done”. Our offering to God, the thing that gives him most glory, that is most precious to him, is not the success but the struggle.  The pain we persevere through out of love for our Heavenly Father. Today Lord Jesus, I give you my struggle. Thank you that the victory is yours!  Amen.


Picture credit: By Source, Fair use

PS. Horton Hears a Who is another father film with the Mayor and his sons’ relationship.

healing quotes

From a great book “Ministering Healing” by Jack Moraine:

“You don’t need great faith for healing; you need just enough faith to be obedient and to pray”.

I like that one because it puts faith within reach. The amount of faith is quite small but it’s like a relay switch. A small current in one part of a circuit flips a switch that joins up a path way for a massive current to flow in another part. It is my conviction that if someone asks for prayer and I am willing to pray for them, then all the faith needed is present. God does the healing. It does not require great power or skill from us. We flick the switch. He provides the power.

Note this interesting dynamic in faith: If I concentrate on my faith and the amount of it required,  my faith actually goes down. If however, I realise how little faith is required to achieve some great enterprise,  then my faith actually increases. Its not the amount of faith that matters, it’s the greatness of God’s desire and power to accomplish something that makes the real difference. That’s probably one of the reasons Jesus said you only need faith the size of a mustard seed to command mountains to be uprooted and thrown into the heart of the sea (something even Yoda would struggle to do).

Of course all that has to be in tension with the fact that Jesus does actually say to his disciples that they could not heal a boy because of their lack of faith. He does that in the verse before talking about grains of mustard in fact (can’t help seeing the parallel between Yoda teaching Luke the force by lifting his space ship out for the swamp and Jesus healing to boy…) .  Now this is a puzzle because I would have thought that Jesus disciples would have had a lot of faith. He had sent them out and they have come back rejoicing because they were able to heal so many. What happened in this case? Was it because it did not happen straight away. I suppose their faith could have been propped up on  their experience rather than in God’s will and power. That would make sense as to root your faith in God rather than past results probably requires prayer which is what Jesus says they need to do.

Anyway here is another quote:

“if you can’t minister healing you can always minister love”

Heidi Backer and Bill Johnson say a similar thing.  And one final quote form the book:

“When you pray for people on a consistent basis there are a lot more people healed than when you don’t.”

John Wimber said “don’t tell me God doesn’t heal until you have prayed for 1000 people”, or something like that, implying that if you pray for more some will eventually start to get well.  One of the Bethel guys said a similar thing. Something like “Keep praying for people and eventually God will have to back you up.” Not that God is at all reticent but that logically there is no way you can pray for people in Jesus name and not see results. His name is just to precocious and powerful.

A window into the gospel (reaching for fruit in supernatural healing part 2)

Yesterday I started a blog on reaching for fruit in supernatural healing. The aim is to journal my resolution to see breakthrough in supernatural healing in 2011.

I set out last year to throw myself into this by preaching on it for a year and praying for people on Sundays after the meeting. We have seen God heal/improve some dodgy backs and knees as well as improve or remove some less physical ailments. We have also started to get reports of heat in peoples bodies as we pray for them, which, while obviously wanting to see actual improvement in a condition, is very encouraging at this early stage.

I was thrilled that the last preach in my series “reaching for fruit in supernatural healing” fell on the first week of the new year. It was very fitting and underlines that this is not the end but the beginning for our church in reaching for fruit in supernatural healing.

Having spoken on “seizing the moment”, “having the confidence”, “wielding the name”, and “saying the word”, the last preach was going to be about testimonies under the title “share the story”. My point was going to be how powerful it is to share the story of what God has done in your life. When the lame man gets healed he jumps up and down and tells people about it. Well, kind of, and that was part of the problem. He did praise God and give testimony by his actions, and it was a very powerful context for the gospel to be preached but I began to feel like I was forcing the passage in a direction it didn’t quite want to go.

In the end, at the last minute, I changed it to “give the explanation”. Since only 10% of the story in Acts 3 and 4 is specifically about the healing and the other 90% is about how it lead to the gospel being preached I thought that my final parting attempt to capture something of the key truths contained in this passage as it relates to healing should emphasise this.

As often happens, my main point only crystallised for me hours before I preached and it was this: Healing opens up a wonderful window into the gospel message. Joaquin Evans, one of the Bethel guys, put it like this:

“the gospel in pill form is captured in every healing”

Having finished the series I am now going to attempt to shape my notes into book form. That feels a bit grand but God has spoken to me about writing books so I might as well have a bit of a practice even if I end up just publishing it on the internet.

Happy New year (Reaching for fruit in supernatural healing – part 1).

Time for new years resolutions. Mine is simply to go all out to see breakthrough in supernatural healing. I want to:

1) Finish my book on healing and make it available in some form (probably on the internet but I would love to get it in a physical form to put in peoples hands)

2) Investigate and initiate “healing on the streets”.

3) Spend more time in the presence of God, enjoying him and letting the dew form (I must write up Mike Betts’ preach on Psalm whatever it was from Pakefield )

4) Continue praying for people to be healed every Sunday

I think I will start another new blog series to follow this through called “reaching for fruit in supernatural healing”.

PS. I will resist the urge to put a time goal on learning NT Greek. I will take as long as I need over it. I got a great book to help me.

I love your presence (part 12)

The last set of notes from a healing conference I went to a while back:

  • Josh was speaking at this point I think as I was taking notes: [I realised one of the things that I like about these Americans is the lack of sarcasm and cynicism. These guys were so refreshing.]
  • At the end of Matthew Jesus tells his disciples to make disciples of all nations and to teach them to do obey everything the Jesus had commanded, ie heal the sick.
  • When you know who you are you know what you have.
  • Friendship comes from intimacy with the Father by the Spirit
  • Not by working but by abiding
  • Activating prophecy
  • There is no excuses for powerlessness!
  • There is no one person more anointed than another. It’s just that they know who they are and who God is. [me – not I guess in the sense that we are all set apart for God but are not some are more anointed for a particular use like prophecy or miracles or administration? Certainly that’s true in the way the term is often used in general conversation but I am not sure what the bible says about it.]
  • We enjoy God and release what we have
  • Their passion has always been his presence. Healing just happened.
  • If I don’t see another miracle would still be the happiest person on earth [me – this is soooo helpful and true. Knowing God’s love is the best thing ever]
  • The key to break through is knowing he loves you unconditionally.
  • God wants to be with you all the time.
  • You don’t even have to know what you are doing!
  • I know the Holy Spirit. I spend time with him and he comes with me.
  • There are miracles of authority and there are miracles of presence.
  • They went to Haiti with doctors to see the kingdom come. Most professional people there didn’t really get what Josh et al where there for. There was a baby with burns all over its body. Doctors where changing its nappy and it was screaming in pain. I think Josh was on his way to the loo when he felt the Spirit go towards the baby. So Josh went towards the baby. They baby stopped crying. When he was near the baby was quiet. When he moved away it cried. Miracles of overflow.
  • Healing is your birthright
  • Josh prayed briefly for peoples necks (I think it was) to get better. Three or four people testified to some improvement in the level of pain or mobility. He called one lady up to testify. He then said to her “you have a problem with your right ear” (or something like that). She said “yes“. He went “in Jesus name open”. She felt warmth and was healed of that too.
  • Every time one person gets healed faith and power is released for someone else.
  • Set aside anxiety and meditate on things that are good.
  • Philip 4:4 says “rejoice always in the Lord. Be anxious for nothing…the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds”
  • We don’t understand why things are not lining up. Peace attracts God who lines them up.
  • Thankfulness is a key to increase.
  • We need to steward what we have
  • Philip 4:8, 19   “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
  • Neh 8:10 – The Joy of the Lord is your strength.”
  • If you don’t see the breakthrough in your own life, thank God for someone else’s breakthrough
  • Where you sow attracts the plough
  • “Excuse me, God bless you today“.

And that’s the end of my notes. I’ve got a couple more conferences to write up so don’t worry, there is more coming! This conference ended with a fire tunnel which I went through several times. I would not normally be so greedy or pushy but when it comes to getting more of the Spirit to see people get well I have to put my natural English reserve aside and get as much as I can. I literally had to drag myself out of the tunnel the last time. “more LORD!” 🙂