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A marathon, not a sprint

We have a couple more blogposts to come in our series of being inspired by and learning from Christians in their 20's. I haven't had the privilege of meeting our next blogger personally, but my good friend Sarah Brown raves about him. She writes:

'Malcolm is a joy bringer! He is a man full of faith and leaves the fragrance of Jesus wherever he goes. He makes people feel seen and loved and knows how to give a really great hug, which is the best news now that hugs are back on the table! He is servant hearted and can transform the atmosphere by walking into the room.'

I'm so excited for us to learn from Malcolm. He has a brilliant heart. Here's a reminder of the questions I've been asking:

- Who are you and what do you do?

- What is God speaking to you about the moment and how are you responding to Him?

- What would be your tops tips for people in their 20's to thrive in their relationship with God?


Hey wonderful reader! Thank you for stopping by to find out about my marathon with Jesus. My mother calls me Malcolm or Prince. My friends call me Malcy or Malc. Feel free to pick a name. I currently attend Riverside Vineyard in Feltham, which is in West London. I have been attending Riverside for the past couple of years intermittently as I have the most awesome opportunity to Kids Pastor a church, which is also situated in Feltham, called Christ Church Feltham.

I met Jesus when I was 13 years old at a Youth camp called Newday. I had been brought up in a Christian home with both of my parents being heavily involved in

church planting and pastoring. Jesus was not real to me until I was invited by a friend from school to attend Newday. I knew about Jesus and the cross, but always thought he was the long bearded man on a throne waiting to smite me down with every mistake I made.

I remember attending Newday with a dodgy sports injury in my knee. It was difficult to walk for very long or to do any physical activity. I can recollect vividly the Thursday evening service, which was a healing night. The preacher encouraged us to pray for one another if there was a need for healing. At the time I was incredibly nervous as this was all so foreign to me:

You mean someone can pray for me and God will use them to heal me ?

Am I good enough to be healed?

I remember feeling incredibly vulnerable asking for prayer from my youth leader Pete.

Luckily he exuberantly agreed to pray for me and gathered other youth from the group to pray too.

I mustn't forget to say that this was all happening in a massive tent with 7,000 other young people! Loud shouts of rejoicing, happy tears, and the Holy Spirit doing His thing were surrounding me. Yet, at the time I felt like I was the only person in the tent. I closed my eyes as Pete and the group stretched out their hands and prayed for me. Now this is the crazy part of the story. My eyes were closed but I could feel my heart was open and ready to receive what God had for me.

Looking back I realised in that moment that all God wanted from me was my yes.

As I was receiving prayer I remember falling onto my back gracefully where I experienced the love of God for the first time ever. The love of God is something that I just cannot find the words to explain. It felt like God had picked me up, scooped me into his arms and cuddled me like a new-born baby resting on His chest. In His arms I felt untouchable and I felt so protected and peaceful.

I could still hear prayers being spoken over me. My eyes started to flicker open and I could see the ceiling of the big blue tent. I was so excited to get up on my feet because in that moment I knew that I had met with my Father and not this old bearded man who was out to get me. In that moment I truly knew He is mine and I am His. That extraordinary experience and my encounter with God changed my life. Jesus became more real to me than ever before. Anytime I am unsure, I now know that I can call upon my Father who is there for me, ready to pick me up into His arms and remind me who I belong to. I owe everything to Him. He always finds a way to let me know that He's not done with me. Even when I go astray or I end up getting stuff wrong for the millionth time. I know He's not done with you either.

Deciding to be a Christian was the best decision I ever made. It all starts with a YES! Let Him do the rest!

God is currently speaking to me about being a bruised banana. My favourite scripture at the moment is Isaiah 42:3-4. Imagine a lovely fresh ripe banana. Wow! Looks good

and really appealing. When bananas start to go brown we are more inclined to throw

them away. Some of those brown rotting bananas represent some of our dreams. I hear God saying that your dream may not be going the way you expected it to, but

when bananas go brown they actually taste SWEETER! Your bruises make you sweeter. Some of these bruises represent your trials and tribulations. It will not always be easy to remember this, but I know that I want to be bruised in order to be sweeter! Remember that He will use every set back, failed opportunity, relationship breakdown, job loss, financial difficulty, bereavement, to grow your sweetness.

Top tips for thriving as a Christian in your 20's:

Remember it is not a sprint, it's a marathon. Be incredibly kind to yourself.

Think of the relationship you have with God like living with your best friend in your house. Imagine going days not speaking to your best friend; this would cause problems! Speaking to God is not some illustrious prayer filled with massively long words. He wants to know how your day's gone. He wants to know how you're feeling. He wants to know how he can help. He wants to know what is making you upset. He's constantly thinking about you 24/7. He loves you so dearly and He just wants you to know. He loves you because He loves you because He loves you because He loves you because He loves you because He loves you. Did I mention because He loves you because He loves you?

My personal difficulty is that I love my sleep and I fall asleep very easily, so I try my best to have time with my best friend (Jesus) in the morning. I choose to sit quietly alone and speak to Him like I'm speaking to a mate, because when I do this I know I'm being honest, and all He wants is your honesty. Find a strategy or find a couple of simple ways that you can really dedicate maybe 15-30 minutes, or an hour a day to put aside all distractions to hear what He's got for you. He has something for you every morning. I don't want to sound like a parent, but it is the most powerful thing to hear from your creator!

Find other Christians too, and through those Christians find more Christians. We weren't meant to do life on our own. It is good to confide with a close knit group of friends who want to see the best in you and who love you. I would recommend joining a small group. I would also recommend joining a young adults group. Through these groups we're able to make godly relationships that can last a lifetime (not to mention the refreshments that are available at these gatherings, like donuts or something similar - these are always a plus!)

The other tip is to protect your ears and protect your eyes.

Make sure you are feeding yourself with positive and enriching content. Your eyes and ears are the window to your soul, so protect them. This can mean looking at the Spotify playlist we're listening to and thinking about what we're watching on Netflix. Keep those precious eyes on His word and I promise you, you won't go astray. He'll be right beside you.

Keep your chin up and don't let your crown slip young Queen and young King. And one last thing: talk to your parents/guardians. I know that might not always be the easiest thing to do, but they were young once and they love you and want the best for you.

Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Go slow, go steady and keep your ears open.

Shhh, He's talking!


Wendy Mann Equip |

Building Family, Prioritising God's Presence, Extending God’s Kingdom


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