the generosity of our resolutions

By Darrell Tunningley | 1 January 2012 | Comments (2)

birdhouses image by See-ming Lee

New year, new you! Lose weight, feel great! Ditch the smokes! It’s everywhere at the moment, isn’t it? As soon as the indulgence of Christmas ends, people start wagging the finger of resolution, promising it’ll make you happier. And we all know that a hastily-made resolution to give up chocolate only lasts until M&S slash the prices of their Yule logs. Surely real resolution – real transformation - ought to last longer, and have more of a domino effect, than that? Is it really just about how we as individuals transform?

Over Christmas I sit and evaluate all that has happened during the previous school term. Hard work, exhaustion, receiving verbal abuse, physical assault and very little thanks! Then I remember the lives of those kids; the broken homes and disappointment they carry. I remember with a warm glow that those same kids are now moving forward, feeling loved and beginning a life of transformation.

All those years ago I was one of those kids, worse than most of them!

After a life of crime and drug addiction I found myself in prison, serving five and a half years for armed robbery, but God had a transformational plan for my life that I could never have seen coming and it was much more powerful than any resolution I’ve ever tried to stick to by myself. While in HMP Wolds I attended an Alpha course and Jesus broke into my life. From that day on I have lived for Him and use my testimony to reach those who think they are beyond reaching and inspire the Church to reach further than they thought possible.

I joined Hope Corner Community Church on the 4th August 2000 and I am now a minister with Assemblies of God. I am responsible for running Xcel Youth Ministries and The Progressive Social Inclusion Project (PSI) - our award winning and highly successful social action project, working with excluded and marginalised young men and women in Runcorn, Cheshire. We are currently building a new centre to house the growing project and congregation. The new building will also house the Hope Corner Academy - a church-run independent SEN school.

I am married to my beautiful wife Rebekah and I have two children – Benjamin and Lydia-Grace. I graduated Mattersey Hall (bible college) and received full ministerial status with Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) in 2009.

If you had told the man I used to be that such a transformation would happen, I would have thought you were mad. All this has come about because of the faithful, generous believers coming into the prison, with their testimony of transformation on their lips. Through them Jesus found me and through me Jesus is reaching others; what an incredible domino effect!

God is now using His story in me through my book ‘Unreachable’, and in just two months since its launch 100s have responded to God’s invitation. They have begun their story and I’m sure they will pass it on too, but will you? You have an opportunity this New Year to allow God to help you make a worth-while resolution, and in doing so, achieve a transformation that ripples beyond what you could ask, hope or imagine.

The generosity challenge:

Spend the start of the New Year in prayer. Ask God to show you how you can show His love in your community, with the aim of creating lasting transformation not only in your life, but in the lives of those around you. Use the topic of New Year’s resolutions as a talking point with your colleagues, friends and family, and share your vision of a resolution that leaves a legacy far beyond the cold mists of January.

> If you would like to support our ministries you can find more details at http://www.hopecorner.co.uk

> Or join me on the journey through twitter http://twitter.com/PastorDHCCC

AoG UK Pastor, former addict, armed robber, drug dealer & convict. Now a follower of Jesus Christ, husband, father, evangelist and author of 'Unreachable'.

http://www.hopecorner.co.uk

comments:

Andrew

January 3, 2012 3:52 PM
Thanks Darrell, a beautiful story of transformation, and a challenge to ensure that what we resolve now leaves a lasting legacy. I've shared it with a prison chaplain friend of mine. May God bless you and your work in 2012.

Adrian at World Vision

January 13, 2012 9:45 AM
Yes Darrell a very refreshing story. Faith really can move mountains! Its great how you have progressed and it provides hope for any one you come into contact with. As a Christian Charity - World Vision we provide aid to developing countries - this can range from healthcare - child sponsorship. As you know charity work and making the extra effort is what it is all about, you can find out more about us here:
http://www.worldvision.org.uk/about-us/

Keep up Gods work Darrell.

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