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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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84 Responses to 476

  1. drewman says:

    This is either a ‘Thank God’ or an ‘Oh God’ moment.

  2. TyTe says:


    Seeing as Bath City Church and others in our city are following the Florida Outpouring heralded by Todd Bentley, I am getting asked by quite a few people what I think – including questions about angels.

    (I had a discussion with someone about this very subject today and was doing my own research when this cartoon popped up)

    According to reports on the Web, Todd has as his companion an angel called Emma (who is about 22 years old and floats above the floor) who tells him stuff. The Church is divided on whether this angel is real, unreal or demonic.

    Nicola Neal, the prophetic voice of Bath City Church shares her experiences including angelic visitations of ‘fire angels’ or seraphim here:


  3. subo says:

    Jamie wondered if it was his background in a restrictive evangelical fellowship, that led to his acting out a fantasy of ‘penitent and angel.’

  4. sarah says:


    Energy, peace, ferocity, joy…

  5. Carole says:

    Oh well, TyTe, sounds like it’s all happening in Bath…just hope that when I wake at up night burning from head to toe it’s revival and not early signs of the menopause…oh, we’re back to ‘Women Aglow’ again… ;)

  6. Carole says:

    I love Jon’s angels – they look like white chocolate topped with a malteser…mmmm!

  7. James says:

    yeah Angels are mysterious. I don’t actually know how I would answer someone who said “what is an angel” to me.

    I wonder how many times Angels may affect our lives but we completely miss it.

  8. gilly says:

    “what is an angel?”

    well, being as mostly the next words uttered were “don’t be afraid”…
    …i guess they were scary?
    …maybe they still are?

    (unless they’re 22 and called Emma…which would lead me to assume….)

  9. becky says:

    Carole – yes that is definitely an edible angel. But then again, I’ve always preferred Devil’s food cake to Angel cake.

  10. jonbirch says:

    tyte… a quote from the link you gave… “There is an impartation and an equipping coming, the cloud and the fire have come down. It will touch the babies, the old, revive the children the youth will catch it and run with it.” i seem to remember having done a cartoon on that. :-)

    very careful children when running with fire! :-)

  11. jonbirch says:

    my cartoon angel is made entirely out of radioactive fudge. :-)

    but seriously… what are angels?

  12. A S Hodel says:

    He’s got a 22 year old Angel named Emma, and people tease me about letting my sock puppet give theological advice?

    There’s something seriously wrong with this picture, and I should hope Jane Austen would agree!

  13. jonbirch says:

    a quote from todd (i’m led to believe) re. what emma the angel birthed in the church…
    “…Also, as this prophetic anointing came on her (leaders wife i think), she started getting phone numbers of complete strangers and calling them up on the telephone and prophesying over them. She would tell them that God gave her their telephone number and then would give them words of knowledge. Complete strangers. Then angels started showing up in the church…”

    honestly, this is crazier than i would ever think to do a cartoon on! it beggars belief! this is more annoying than having one of those call centre machines randomly ring you up!

    so… is todds 22 year old (what sounds like a male fantasy) beautiful female angel the real deal? sounds dead dodgy to me…

    hold on… just got to go and ring some people up! i know it’s gone midnight, but it’s important! :-)

    what are angels?

  14. Forrest says:

    “what are angels?”

    Yah, now there’s one of them Very Good Questions.
    And it may go several directions
    – what are they in functional terms?
    – what are they in material terms?
    – what are they in relational terms?

    Gonna go get with Kathy on this and get back to y’all – she’s had interaction with angel, I’ve seen angel – but, to try and explain, let alone understand, what they are . . .

  15. jonbirch says:

    be interested to hear more.

  16. zefi says:

    Yours doesn’t look very “biblical.”

    Unless if it’s a vision.

  17. dadube says:

    Well in Islam angels are creatures made of light (whereas man is made of clay and jinn are made of fire).
    They don’t eat or drink and are made up of feet, shoulders, ears, hands and wings. The number of wings goes from 2 upwards – Jibril has about 600 wings :)
    They can also take on the form of a human male (not female) but they’re not allowed to have male genitalia (poor angels!)
    Can anyone guess what I’ve been teaching my year 9’s this week??

  18. Helen says:

    If you want to read a good book on Angels’s try Jane William’s (wife of Rowen) Book. It’s biblically based and not at all fluffy.

  19. Carole says:

    As a child, in that place where reigion meets folklore, I remember being told that when we die, we become angels. I find this is a view commonly held even today – “Don’t worry, your grandad is looking out for you,” and the like. There is a basic desire that our loved ones still play a practical role in our lives from beyond the grave. But this post got me thinking rather more deeply than I suspect is good for me. I suppose I have always thought of angels as spiritual beings, servants/messengers of God. A bit like God’s PA – but one of those brilliant PAs who, with a deft touch, go around sorting out all the boss’ cockups. Not that I’m suggesting for one moment God might cock up – but we, His incompetent people, do all the time and the angels look after us. This celestial PA does all this on the quiet and neither expects nor gets any accolades. So the recent cult of angels is a wee bit worrying.

    When I pray for my children, I might ask God to send his angels to look after them – this seems to be one of the roles they have in the Bible. Angels seem to me to be functionaries, members of the royal household but I don’t know if they are ‘loved’. It seems to be implicit in places in the bible that in addition to assorted bodyparts to which Dadube has alluded, they also can have a will, which is interesting. If we think of satan ‘falling like lightning from Heaven’, there is the potential for them to get too big for their celestial boots!

    When I start to think about it for too long, I think about the light thing. I start thinking about how lasers are light and yet incredibly powerful. I think yeah, I can see the possibility of angels on the electromagnetic spectrum, but on the very far ends which we with our human limitations can’t yet detect. Then I know I’ve been thinking too long – because I don’t even understand myself…

    I suppose, being functionaries, there is no need for male genitalia or girly bits since they have no need of breeding. I suspect they are androgenous rather than male. If they are light, light is an energy and we are told that you cannot destroy energy, merely transform it…I’m boring myself now, I’ll shut up.

    Help! I don’t understand…

  20. Carole says:

    Thanks Helen – sounds like a good July read.

  21. Carole says:

    I do think that sometimes we may act in the office of angels…on a couple of occasions when travelling abroad, my eldest has found herself in potentially dodgy situations and a flesh and blood human has come to the rescue completely out of the blue. I classed that as an answer to my prayers.

  22. Carole says:

    By the way, I think all you Bath people should get yourselves down to Bath City church and be the ASBO reporters on the ground. Feel the burn!

  23. dadube says:

    Wow Carole – so many mails in one morning! – enjoying the weekend before term restarts?? We have 5 weeks left til we break up (and I return to Bath for love and rest) – can’t wait for these weeks to pass!

    The way I’ve always understood it is the light idea – angels being powerful messangers of God who work on his behalf, who are not male or female but can take on human form. I’m not sure they have a will of their own though – the whole fallen angel thing seems strange to me even though I know its widely accepted/believed.
    I always think its funny that children fight over the right to play Gabriel in the nativity play too – and that its always a girl who gets the part. When I was a sixth former we used to do staff and sixth form nativity plays at my school and my brother was Gabriel – now that was far better (not that he’s an angel in any sense unless you take into account that he frequents clubs like Heaven!!!) :)

  24. Carole says:

    Hi Dadube – Prolific posting aka planning evasion!

    Re the will thing, I suppose it was references in Peter 2 to God not sparing sinning angels that got me thinking in that way – it opens up the whole argument of whether sin is a wilful thing or not. Also it said something in Corinthians about us ‘judging angels’. I didn’t really understand that but wondered what we would judge them in – how well they sing, perhaps! Or the condition of their wings in a celestial Crufts kind of a way! Oh I don’t know, bring back ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, that was easier to get my head around!

    Hope you have a fun final half term. I shall be wishing the next 5 weeks away with you. :)

  25. becky says:

    I am convinced a female version of Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life is my guardian angel.

  26. dadube says:

    lol Carole
    I’m web surfing as I can’t bear the thought of writing my year 7 reports that are due 2moro! Ah, us teachers are often the worst procrastinators of them all :D
    GL with the planning….

  27. marcus says:

    We have just had a church night discussion on todd bentley and this fresh fire ministries revival thing, seems he has a lot of emphasis on finances throughout his teaching and that some of these angels that appeared were angels of finance bringing financial breakthrough for churches and people, what bentley calls God’s extra blessings!?

    I’m just don’t think that such teaching is biblical when it comes to finances, Jesus didn’t seem to advocate financial breakthrough or even the benefits of being blessed financially?

    As a pastor I am concerned about how this will impact congregations because some will see the signs and wonders and declare that this is God’s blessing and others will go the other way – God grant us wisdom and discernment.

  28. Dave says:

    Amen to wisdom and discernment Marcus… I like C S Lewis’s take on angels – (Perelandra) – they hover just above the surface of the planet and have to keep moving with the earth’s rotation in order to stay in one place!!

    Also love Banksy’s portrayal of a drunk/travelling angel – there is a copy at … http://digitalrightsmanifesto.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/trampangel-s.jpg As for me – I think they are ‘messengers’ that long to look into the things that we understand… would love to be sure of meeting one – think I may have and think I have ‘felt’ them around – but in the realms of speculation mostly… dave

  29. jonbirch says:

    okay… what i say now may be unhelpful and prejudiced. you’ve been warned.
    amazingly, last night after having read some comments and commenting myself, i went downstairs and flicked on the god channel. hey presto! there was todd bentley doing his thing… 3 hours of it… all live tv!
    i have to say, i thought it was utter silliness at best and crazily destructive at worst. the mans is crazed from what i could see! it was the ol’ ‘come down the front’ routine… fire and brimstone sort of thing. loads of shouting at people emotionally, affected in the extreme… horrible manipulative soft rock pap to set the mood… the whole thing was utter nonsense of the highest (lowest order)! it’s just more ‘prosperity’ theatre with a new leading man! utter w**k (and i do mean that!) of the most self-indulgent kind…
    okay, maybe i’m wrong… but that’s what i saw through my tinted specs.
    he may or may not have seen an angel… i doubt it somehow… i do know i wouldn’t trust anything he says. and that’s not ‘cos he looks like a biker, because i like bikers and that was the thing about him i did think was good.

    okay bath’ites’… tyte, sonia, clare, jf et al… who’s up for what carole suggested and taking in one of these meetings down at bcc? we could then discuss it over a beer and report back. what do you say?

    carole… isn’t ‘girly bits’ just called ‘genetalia’ too? there really are no endearing names for said parts of a woman are there? we blokes have great nicknames for our bits. somehow, it doesn’t seem fair. :-) btw i was liking your grappling with angels/energy sources type stuff… i too grapple in the same way and get confused.

    dadube… why is it girls get cast as gabriel? surely the clue is in the name… or is it that ‘gabriel’ is one of those cross-gender names, like ‘charlie’? if so, i’ll let them off! :-)

    marcus… you’re right. that finance thing is more than a little troubling. :-(

  30. Carole says:

    Jon, genitalia is just lower bits – I said girly bits to encompass the upper bits, too. As far as I can tell, angels don’t have those either – no need. You’ve hit on one of my soapbox issues with the naming of aforementioned lower bits. I’ve always wanted to know why all the most vile insults relate to female genitalia. Maybe its because women’s are hidden away like a dark secret only coming out in public when the gynaecologist needs to have a rummage; whereas men befriend their bits from an early age and wave them about at every convenience (no pun intended!) Like old school friends blokes give theirs nicknames but we would cross the road to avoid ours if we could!

    So, angels…can’t wait to hear your report. I’d so laugh if one of you was on the receiving end of an ‘impartation’! :lol:

  31. JF says:

    Jon. I’d very much like to go down to BCC with you. I’m working in London on Tuesday, but what about Wednesday evening?

    By the way, after 30 comments on this thread, I’m no nearer understanding what angels are.

    Can’t wait for Forrest to report back.

  32. subo says:

    I love the stories of Angle popping by for a jar of beer, and then we only realise their angelic status when we try to add up who they were and where they came from.

    besides the warmth of such freely given love, there’s a lack of laying claim to super-spirituality (which seems leave one so disheartened.) Jesus did say, ‘by their fruits you shall know them.’

  33. marcus says:

    I would be very interested in hearing back from any who get down to BCC, unfortunately I am on other side of country and will not be able to join in with this visit, but keep us updated. :-)

  34. Will says:

    Jon, Didn’t we know from Bath City, that could see angels standing behind people with banners with words on it?

    I don’t really know what to say on the matter. Who is getting more from it the person

  35. jonbirch says:

    that’s correct will. didn’t know what to make of that either. the person in question, though a nice guy, was also caught up in the hype of things going on… he was always trying to convert me and get me fully in the river. and as has been said before on another thread, when people are in that hyped headspace lot’s of things can and do happen. hmmmm.

    carole. a great photo of jonny’s. the angel itself looks a bit like the woman from the wallace and gromit ‘shawn the sheep’ adventure. i think it’s the hairdo. :-)

    jf. wednesday it is then! anyone else coming along? sonia? iain? tyte? dave? clare?
    maybe i’ll take my camcorder or a pen with me to try and be more journalistic about it. might help on the objectivity front. could ask a few people down there their thoughts.

  36. Chris F says:

    In screwtape letters, the human subject finally gets killed by a bomb; and Lewis writes of a glimpse of him entering heaven and seeing the ones who have been alongside him through his trials (?angels) and saying something like, “So – it WAS you, all along” as he recognises those he has only had hints of in his life.
    Well, it would be wonderful if that’s near the truth!

    Jon I too dipped into god ghannel last eve and I share your dismay. Todd was emphasising blessing if people were desperate enough – well of course they are! These people have come miles to find healing, blessing, and I think certainty of experience of the presence of God. He uses this intense desire of hurting and lost people – well, God is amazingly gracious and I really hope many found what they needed despite the hype. But I fear many will be disappointed – if not now, then later.

    He even claimed 15 resurrections had happened! And not one of them hits the headlines???!!!

    I think the NT tells us straight to expect trouble and reversals cos thats the way it is – miracles happen sometimes but most of the time we simply have to trust – I do believe that nothing whatever can finally tear me out of Jesus’ hand

  37. jonbirch says:

    carole… do you remember an all girl band called ‘we’ve got a fuzzbox and we’re gonna use it’… when they got famous they shortened it to ‘fuzzbox.’ from a blokes perspective, i thought that was a cool name. sexy, but with them in charge… even sexier. :-) on second thoughts though, it’s still not a nice friendly nickname, like ‘willy’ or ‘percy’ etc… :-(

    so, what actually ‘are’ angels then?… anyone?

  38. jonbirch says:

    wise stuff chris f. we cross posted. :-) thing is, i never watch the god channel for more than 5 minutes once every 6 months. there is always something on that angers or upsets me. it just seems to be all about exploiting the vulnerable… as with todd last night. as you say… of course people are desperate. the whole thing and things before like this always seem to me to be born out of desperation. i guess desperation is natural… and, in a way, people’s strange displays are natural… but in the end i find it all hopeless, sad and pathetic. not to mention mind warping.
    being of fragile mental state at times, i am a bit nervous about going to bcc. i’m sure jf’ll look after me… and any others who come. i think, as someone who sometimes feels very vulnerable, this sort of thing can anger me even more. hmmmm.

    i seem to be saying ‘hmmmmm’ a lot! :-)

  39. Chris F says:

    I might join you on wednesday too!

    I don’t know what are angels are either. I’m not sure I even need to know…

    …I just hope I do something helpful if I meet one unawares

  40. Chris F says:

    Ha ha, cross posted again! I’m a bit anxious too about Weds – not sure if I’ll be there!

  41. Pierre says:

    Funny this comic should come now – I’m more and more convinced of the importance of names throughout Genesis, and put it in relation with Exodus 3:13-15 on my blog, especially 3:14, which contains (with footnote) in the ESV: “I am who I am” (Or I am what I am or I am what I will be).

  42. jonbirch says:

    we can always leave early… even after 5 minutes if need be. :-)

  43. Forrest says:

    Hey Y’all;

    Kathy and I’ve been busy with errands and sleeping overnight since I posted that last and haven’t yet had time to get together to make notes.
    However here’s these two tales from years back in my life.
    1.) Macon, Georgia, in the 1970s as a lad in the teenage years. Family and a friend or two had gone canoeing in Ocmulgee River then on way home had all stopped at Dairy Queen for frozen treats. Somewhere along the way between store counter and International Harvester Scout II tailgate, this searching for a direction teen saw an old grey haired slightly pudgy black fellow sitting on a battered pickup’s tailgate and was compelled to go speak to him. Right out of the gate he asked if I yet knew what to do with my life. I said, no, just don’t know what to do, I’m completely lost, frankly. He responded that a person is given the ability to do what their best calling in life is but it is ultimately up to them to act upon it. Whatever you decide to do within that direction you will be able to do.
    After a contemplative ‘Hmmmm …’,I thanked him for his encouragement and excused myself to rejoin my family about 10 yards down the parking lot from his truck. turned around to perch on dad’s old Scout’s tailgate under overhanging canoe on roof and saw old fellow and his truck not there.
    Huh? That’s rather interesting.
    If he’d drove out one one think you’d have heard the cab door slam, the truck start, and it crunch along the gravel behind you, ya know?
    Now, this was something like 35 years ago and memories kinda get foggy with time, but I don’t remember anyone of the family, who’d most all been seated facing that direction, ever commenting on seeing that conversation.
    My belief is that he was of angelic origin sent to encourage a frustrated and discouraged young man.

    2.) 1995 to 1997 were traumatic years with employment troubles; a major medical problem developing; a failed relationship that’d had a wedding scheduled in 4 months; and then what became diagnosed as Bipolar 2 being added to the mix. Probably redundant to point out I was a mess?
    One late summer evening, was stretched out in bed with my 2 cats, April and Applesauce, in a nice bright and airy 1 bedroom apartment in a contrastingly dark and hopeless state of mind and spirit when what may best be described as a vision happened. Part of me says I’m wrong about who was who, but a deeper part says, hey dude, you have it exactly. Ummm, well, okay, feeling rather self conscious about telling this on account of potential to have it dismissed as fantasy, here it goes . . .
    Above me, in a dimensionless space at once both below and above the ceiling, I percieved a standing figure with outstretched arms – deep anxiety hit but soon subsided. And then I saw something that really raised goosepimples – columns and lines of what I took to be armored angels marching across the room, in one wall and out the other. A perception came that here was deep darkenss within my room and these beings were heading into battle to prevent that darkness from consuming me and that battle was taking place right then in dimensionless space in 3 dimensions all around my room.
    With both happening at the same time, I knew why it was necessary to first say “Do not be afraid”; and was thrilled, awestruck, and encouraged. And dared not move.
    A person or two have said that couldn’t have been Jesus and angels or your place would have been filled with light: that was not holiness you saw there. Well, now wait a minute – what about the darkness and despair within and threatening to totally consume me – wouldn’t that have been filling my home wherever I was? Could not have this been showing me just how great and dangerous a darkness I was presently in and the current right-now active intense battle between light and darkness for my soul and being? My eternal soul being defended in timeless eternity with the risen Christ, the Lion, being the king leading his avenging army? I mean, the Bible says outright he is, so why would it be odd the see him DOING exactly that? As well as scaring me for the moment it had lasting effect of giving hope and encouragement and strength to go on through the multiple heartbreaks and adversities of the time, trusting Jesus to get me through. Doesn’t sound like something satan would want to do does it? – why would he want the outcome being my greater confidence in Christ, hmm?

    3.) A Kathy story:
    About a week or so before we got married in 2005 I had driven her to her physician’s appointment at hospital clinic just outside of town where we lived in Missouri at time. When she was called in to nurse evaluation during check-in before appointment her foot caught on loose corner of carpet square when she stood up from seat and she fell on her face. Now, thanks to 5 years straight of Prednisone for asthma 1997-2002 her hip bones were brittle and her doctor had told her then “Do NOT fall, you won’t break, you WILL shatter!” Oh No!!!!!! Kathy said to doctor that she was okay, and there were hands which caught her and laid her down, I didn’t hit the ground very hard at all. She married me with her knees a bit bruised and that was all the discernable damage – and she was checked out pretty good with this happening right there in hospital.

    Earlier this morning Kathy and I made an “appointment” to sit together this afternoon and take notes as we go over our thoughts about angels.
    Results may be a day or two in getting posted.

  44. TyTe says:

    As I sit here I feel mixed emotions…

    I’m a member of Transform – a group of church leaders in Bath (mostly charismatic) and we recently sat down at BCC to discuss the Revival Fire/Florida Outpouring. Nicola shared with us what she shares on the BCC web site. I have to say that I did not feel comfortable – in my heart/spirit – with much of what I heard. There was a general agreement that there was a lot of hype and other leaders expressed a dislike of Todd’s methods/manners, yet they insisted that there was a real spiritual/God dimension to all this. Leaders from Bath have even chosen to visit Todd’s church to receive an impartation. I raised my concerns but felt very much in a minority and that I was raining on their parade. Since that meeting I have become even more concerned.

    What worries me as a pastor/church leader is that this will be divisive and yet at the same time there must be room for people to question/discern/disagree. I guess this issue highlighted some of the very real differences between churches/leaders and this saddens me. We are clearly not of one mind and heart on this.

    So, yes, I am free on Wednesday but I ask myself why I would go? I don’t want to get sidetracked into divisive arguments as unity is dear to my heart – yet unity at what price? Burying my head in the sand doesn’t sound like an option either.

    We can’t make the error of lumping BCC or any other church in with Todd Bentley and the God Channel – yet as they believe that they are receiving an impartation from him (directly or indirectly) they either uphold his ministry or they don’t or I’d like to know which bits they uphold! We have to be fair and treat each expression of church on its merits.

    I also don’t want to limit God or put him in a box – Bentley/BCC/Anglican or whatever. I want to be open to being surprised by God, moved by him, and humbled by him. At the end of the day, I just want to invite people into the wonderful Kingdom that Jesus is establishing.

    So bearing all that in mind, yes, I’ll come along. Sorry if I sound all serious. This stuff involves a lot of people/churches who are close to my heart – and who I care for deeply. It matters.

    (Flip, I could have just said ‘yes’ couldn’t I?) lol

  45. jonbirch says:

    interesting stuff pierre :-) … food there for another asbo methinks.

  46. Forrest says:

    umm, how’d that end up duplicated like that??????????????

    jon, can you fix it?

  47. jonbirch says:

    tyte… respect is key. i have respect for past members, one or two current members (even a past leader) i know from bcc. i hear you and agree. i for one would not want in any way to be drawn in to divisive arguments. i simply would like to see what is happening as i did with the toronto thing. well part of me would and part of me wouldn’t. as i said above… i may have to leave after 5 minutes anyway. :-)

  48. jonbirch says:

    i’ll fix it forrrest… no worries. :-)
    fascinating stories… ones that resonate as true. also, experiences that have had a profound effect in a positive way on you and yours.
    i, for one, do not feel at all cynical about your stories… in fact the reverse. i do not understand, but then i don’t understand most things. but if fruits are a measurement i see some pretty cool fruit growing from these events. also interesting is that neither of these events are pre-hyped. your stories resonate in similar ways to ones i have heard before which ring true for me… i don’t know why, but they do.
    thanks for making yourself vulnerable. much appreciated. :-)

  49. TyTe says:

    Thanks for those stories Forrest. Very encouraging. A good friend of mine, who struggles in all sorts of areas with darkness/depression, has occasional supernatural experiences of God that leave him lifted and encouraged – as if God is nudging him saying, “I’m still here with you and I won’t forget you.”

    Jon – we’re singing from the same hymn sheet (no. 345 in Ancient and Ancient) – lol. Alright – we go with open hearts and minds and if we leave after 5 mins, so be it. :)

  50. AnneDroid says:

    “Oriel’s Diary” by Rob Harrison is a lovely book. It’s an angel’s view of Jesus’s time on earth and it’s both funny and moving. I recommend it. Whether it teaches us the answer to the question Jon originally asked I’m not venturing to say, but I really liked it a lot.

  51. Carole says:

    Hi guys, I don’t think anyone should go along to the meeting if they really feel that uncomfortable about it. But as it is on your doorstep, it is useful opportunity to see for yourself what is happening. It may well be that the hype is a distraction from what is really happening. You have to be open-minded and TyTe, I actually think it would be useful to see at first hand so that you can give an informed account of things. If there are a few of you, you can all leave together if it gets a bit much. Just sit near the back!

  52. Carole says:

    Jon, I think I’ll stick with Petunia, thanks… ;)

  53. subo says:

    hi Forrest, (“My belief is that he was of angelic origin sent to encourage a frustrated and discouraged young man.”) your story reminds me of what the disciples said when they realized they’d been talking the the risen Jesus, – ‘didn’t our heart warm within us as he spoke?’.

  54. TyTe says:

    Yes, Carole, I think you’re right. But if I get an impartation, then I have two hats to choose from… munch, munch! lol

  55. TyTe says:

    Rich Wilson pointed me to Terry Virgo’s blog that seems both open and cautious:


  56. jonbirch says:

    carole… petunia!!!? :-)

    subo… ‘didn’t our heart warm within us as he spoke?’. thanks! :-)

    some interesting stuff on that website tyte.

  57. jonbirch says:

    btw… i went to a meeting where john arnott was leading… i thought he was foolish. well intentioned but frankly all over the place. i’ll say more on this if you’re interested. one of the worst sermons i’ve ever heard as well i’m afraid. just didn’t make sense, though quite impassioned. hmmmmm.

    another hmmmmm. :-)

  58. Forrest says:

    Hi again;

    It’s not just life-changing dramatic stuff but ‘commonplace’ events that angels get involved in too.

    A tale about another fall – here in our little burg at YMCA indoor swimming pool in an old now defunct military school in town. One morning before “Rusty Hinges” water exercise group I had brought along a little 24inch long wooden model submarine powered by rubber band to play with (yes, even at this age!) and was passing pool entry steps carrying it when footing was lost and I slipped, falling against ladder platform and handrails, bnaging my head and drawing a little blood from right elbow. As silly as it sounds I had no concern about myself but rather about damaging or destroying the little wooden boat which had had so many hours put into its construction. It was found setting beside water a bit to left, just like it had been placed there!
    A spot of scuffed paint on bottom of rudder and another at bottom of bow appeared to be sum total of damage. Huh?!?!?!?
    Will confess to not minding attention from lifeguard gals ;-) Kathy had been in changing room at time and is thankful she didn’t see me fall – would have really disturbed her.

    As it happened, YMCA was able to get funding to have pool deck resurfaced in a few weeks to give better non-skid surface, thereby greatly increasing safety for everyone.

    “The Lord works in Mysterious ways”?

  59. Dave says:

    2 stories – angels???

    1 – A friend of mine who has cerebral palsy is racing me in his ‘disabled carriage’ (you remember the blue 3 wheelers) – I’m in car going at about 40 mph – smiling at him – behind me!! As he goes round the corner his carriage turns over but as it turns (I’m watching in my mirror) the door opens (quiet a complex manoeuvre – involving pulling it towards you and sliding back) and he ‘floats out’ !! I kid you not – I phone emergency services expecting to have to shovel my friend up from the road – but going back to the scene I discover him sat on the pavement complaining he has broken his nail!!!???

    2. We are at kid’s camp and from a distance one of the leaders sees a lad capsize his canoe in the sea – the leader is some distance away and is bricking it as the kid seems stuck. The leader sees 2 beefy guys – one stands at each end of the canoe and they right it with the kid still stuck inside – the two beefy guys swim away !!???

    Not sure what happened in either story or why and leaves as many questions as answers – but I like to believe that God intervened and perhaps angels were involved??? dave :)

  60. Carole says:

    How bizarre, Dave, and Forrest earlier. Sometimes I don’t even know if we are meant to rationalise things like this. Sometimes the only valid response is a reflective hmmmm….

  61. dadube says:

    Has anyone else heard the urban myth thingy about finding white feathers appear whenever something involving visiting angels might have happened? I know some people believe in it, but I can’t help but think of the poor bird that’s lost it….. :)

  62. Carole says:

    I thought white feathers were something to do with cowardice…

  63. dadube says:

    well yeah, that too, but once upon a time in my youth I read a book about angels and it mentioned white feathers…..

  64. Dave says:

    #63 – think that was in Dogma! great film!! dave :)

  65. subo says:

    it’s good to read such real experiences here on ASBOJ, after glancing at the wafer thin, saccrine waffle I found on a web site about church healing experiences.

    I find hearing someones kicked an addiction, or has bought hope and love to their estranged family is so much more impressive than ‘I rolled about on the floor giggling’.

    why do people feel they should make such a big deal out of such tiny things? I know a story of a guy who had to give up driving when his eye sight failed, finding he could see to drive again – that impressed me, handy as well.

  66. subo says:

    ooops, not sure I made that clear, I just waded through pages of mini testimonies about ‘falling down’, ‘feeling touched’, ‘getting the giggles’, (probably a healthy thing in that context)

    I do have memories of finding I’d made an amazing escape after a loss of concentration while cycling in traffic ect, and yes, the sense of God’s love at the time was really good, so I really enjoyed the stories above.

    I just think the giggly stuff is more about a lack of faith, followed with a flush of excitement over nothing, followed by a lack of interest in building peace or living compassionately.

  67. dadube says:

    Dave you are so right – Dogma rocks! I especially love Alanis as God :)
    But I’m sure I read a ‘proper’ book about angels and white feathers. Now its going to drive me nuts trying to find out what it was called!

  68. Dave says:

    Dadube – Alanis was great as god – poop poop! dave :)

  69. jonbirch says:

    i have an older friend. down to earth and as honest as the day is long.

    he was head groundsman at a posh school. one of the staff under him was constantly bullying him, giving him lip and threatening him… to the point where my friend (a very gentle guy) was very upset about it but powerless to do much. this went on for weeks.
    one day… the chap came to my friend shaking and as white as a sheet. he told my friend how sorry he was for everything he’d said and done and that it would not happen again. when my friend inquired as to the change of attitude, the chap told him… that he’d been out on the grounds when he saw what he believed to be an angel, very scary looking and standing in front of a pit… the bloke fell terrified to his knees (who wouldn’t?). the angel told the chap that he had to go back to my friend and apologise for his behaviour and change his ways if he wanted to avoid the aforementioned pit! so convinced was he of what had happened that he went to my friend and did all that was required of him…
    the guy was no trouble to my friend from that time on!
    i don’t for one second pretend to understand the ‘hows?’ and ‘what’s?’ etc… but i do know my friend is no mad man, no liar, and i believe him completely. whatever happened to the employee sure had a profound and positive effect on everyone, especially my friend! :-)

    thanks for the story’s dave. it all makes you think. and whatever our perceptions of events, the events happened, of that there is no doubt at all. intriguing topic this one. i’ll definitely be reading up on angels over the summer in the nice weather. :-)

  70. JF says:

    Well I guess it’s because I don’t believe in Intervention at all, but I just have never got why an omnipotent, omnipresent God (who has already come to earth in human form) would need to have a team of messengers (how much more “message” do you need!?) and a kind of appearing/disappearing human-form safety team to stop a select few people having bad accidents.

    I also have had some close scrapes (and one proper accident) on my bike / scooter, but in those situations, everyone involved is equipped with amazing reactive capabilities and instinctively programmed to avoid the worst so, in an instant, everyone pulls together to prevent it happening, as far as possible. Thus no wonder that these bad situations can turn out OK. The feeling you get afterwards called ‘relief’.

    In general, I find there is a strong correlation (though perhaps not always) between reports of angel experiences and the people involved being in quite a profound state of psychological need. I would also query sightings of angels while horizontal in bed for obvious reasons.

    For me I guess I am just wary when people’s relationship with God seems too Santa-like. Praying like a letter to Santa… angels behaving like “Santa’s little helpers”. It devalues the relationship in my mind.

    Maybe that’s because I am burdened with a control freak mentality (!) and believe strongly in not absolving our responsibility for our lives and events in the world around us.

    I do still have masses of questions about this parallel existence which is populated by angels and spirits (the church performs exorcisms) as I’ve never had it explained.

    As for Bath City Church, I would like to say I’ll go there with an open mind, but honesty forces me to admit I think there is a dangerous combination of wilful & complicit delusion with some serious misguidedness. I shudder to read that their website publicity is urging us to “bring the sick, expect a miracle”. Hmmm why would the sick be good audience members at an event like this. Is it because their need state, possibly bordering on desperation in many cases, makes them prime suggestive material?

    Hope this doesn’t preclude me from coming along as I am truly intrigued…. BTW, the missus wants to come too (her dad’s actually been to the Toronto thing, gold teeth and all that)!

    Thanks again for this thread, Jon!

  71. Robb says:

    I saw that Supernatural Training Centre nonsense in Kampala. TV adverts and signs telling you where to stick your money. The country has such a history of superstition and witchcraft that people buy into it. The inly difference is that the superstition and witchcraft is done in the name of the church. The mainstream churches find it very difficult to do anything about it because people what to see “some jerky meicine man whoopin’ and hollerin’ and shaking his dick”*. I must dig out the photos of signs pointing to “Miracle Centres”. TV ads telling people to come down and receive their miracle if you jin our church and give them all of your money.

    And yet there are plenty of good eggs out there doing stuff instead like dealing with aids…. in the name of Christ.

    *Green Mile

  72. jonbirch says:

    no probs jf. :-)
    funny, i have all the same misgivings. but what if the apparent help of angels is about psychological state? it doesn’t make it any less ‘real’, just offers an explanation. i do wonder whether a lot of what the bible talks about as angels, demonic possession, etc. etc. are about psychological and physiological states. but again, i would say that simply offers a possible explanation. who knows? i don’t.

  73. steve lancaster says:

    Hi guys,

    Just a ‘what if?’ but… What if angels could be true for those who believe in angels, and not true for those who don’t? Some kind of emergent spirituality dependent on how far we engage with it? Impossible? As I understand it, Love by definition can do the impossible…

    I was thumped on the arm once by a young man who looked a bit wild, walking up the street. “You’re one of us now” he said. I had just left Church for good, feeling damned. There was a sense of inevitability about it, not least because I had dreamt of the experience months before. Not surprisingly, for a long time it screwed me up!

    I’ve no resolution for the experience. Did anyone else see it? Did I experience it because I had dreamt it in advance? Was he angelic, or deluded, or utterly sane? Was it a good experience that appeared bad, because I was in a bad place, or a bad experience that appeared good, jogging me out of a frying pan into a fire? The punch felt real enough – but could that have been a hallucination too? What did it mean?

    Love helps me to accept it – in the sense above, that Love encompasses stuff I cannot resolve empirically. I like Walter Wink’s understanding of powers and principalities – that they are good, they are fallen, and they can be redeemed. Therefore, in his expression, Love has redeemed this experience for me.

    But to me it remains a wild experience, more shamanistic than tight and tidy church (the Toronto Blessing was wild for me, too; my first experience of god [G-D] was wild). So I conclude that Christianity is wild as well as tame, and angels are wild too.

  74. jonbirch says:

    interesting thought steve. thanks. :-)

  75. steve lancaster says:

    Thanks, Jon!

    This is one place I can talk about stuff which is real but unpackaged. (Not sure if it is unpackaged because it’s not had time to get wrapped, or because all the wrapping has been gloriously ripped off!)

  76. janetp says:

    Hi JF. I so agree with you. But I also agree with Jon’s response (74).

    Part of the reason I’m so sceptical is because I’m well aware that a big chunk of me would love to believe in angels – also fairies, magic, Santa and any other superstition you care to name! – and would willingly accept unsubstantiated ‘proofs’ all too easily. Probably I over-compensate as a result, but I do at least try not to be hypocritical about my hypocrisy!! :0)

  77. drewman says:

    The other day I caught an elderly lady the very moment before she fell in the high street. I sat her down recovered her bags and got someone to ring for an ambulance. As soon as she was in their capable hands I left. I hope I had just done what any of us would have…but, in that instance and if she is prone to belief in angels I may have just grown wings (not discussing genitalia!). We all have the opportunity to be positive assists in others lives all the time. Angels maybe, but I hope we are who we are.

  78. soniamain says:

    just caught up on all of this, been away for a few days. I have no issue with angels and people seeing angels- although it does amuse me that if my mum, with her mental health issues, said she saw and heard angels she would probably be sectioned again!. BUT all this fire stuff?!- what is that all about, heard the BCC link- could not understand what she was talking about!. Sorry to let you down Jon but I am off working in cornwall this week so won’t be visiting BCC with you- but actually i don’t think I would manage to even if I was in Bath. There is something about it all that really freaks me, and disturbs me, but am interested to hear what you find!.

  79. TyTe says:

    Well, we visited a BCC revival fire meeting and it was pretty chilled. We sang a couple of songs (for an hour), people lay on the floor and after an hour and a quarter we left to go to the pub. The people seemed to want to be led into a place where they see miracles happen and the service was aimed at that happening. Not much to report really. Less fire and more drissle! Although I expect things got going after we left…

  80. Carole says:

    TyTe – sounds like the pub was the better option! But I don’t really suppose that anything more exciting happened after you’d gone…

  81. Laura says:

    ok…since we’re talking about angels, I just have to post my favorite image of one. I remember seeing this image for the first time a few years ago at some showing somewhere. It completely captivated me then, and still does now. I looked at ALL the paintings in that show, but this one kept drawing me back to it again and again. Not sure why exactly. It’s something about the blackness of his skin and the way his fists are clenched I suppose.

    It may not link properly. If it doesn’t click on “religious” on the left hand column and then all the way down to the image on the bottom row by itself. It’s called “Black Angel”


  82. Laura says:

    Nope…it didn’t link right. Bummer.

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