"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

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6 of the best daily prayer apps

Posted by Anne Witton on Saturday, August 3, 2019, In : Prayer 
I have recently been helped in the discipline of daily prayer by a number of apps, so I wanted to share 6 of the best free ones. The selection represents a number of different Christian faith traditions, so I hope that there is something for everyone.



(1) Pray As You Go (Free)


This is my favourite daily prayer app. Each day there is an audio reflection of about 12 minutes which includes music, Scripture reading, questions for reflection and quiet time for yo...

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Picture this thought - Candle [Simplicity]

Posted by Anne Witton on Saturday, June 29, 2019, In : Video 
A short reflection on simplicity in our materialistic and consumeristic culture. How can we focus on what really matters instead of ploughing our energy into working for things which won't last?

Jesus said "Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." (Luke 12: 15) and "Go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matt 19: 21)



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Book recommendations 2018

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, December 31, 2018, In : Books 
This year I have read significantly fewer books than last year’s 134 but I still managed 54 books on top of all the articles, papers and chapters that I’ve read for my MA.

I’ve again covered a wide range of subjects from typography to generosity and here are some of my favourites:

Top Christian




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The Kindness Instinct

Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, In : Reflections 


When something annoying happens, what response comes instinctively to you? I often find that I start the day with the right intentions to be godly in everything I do and then someone cuts me up in the car, or I get stuck behind a slow pedestrian or behind a pensioner trying to pay by cheque in a shop and immediately the grump is unleashed. I’m often ashamed of the first word that pops into my head when I bash my shins on the bath.

The truth is that my instinctive and impulsive responses are ...

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Bible character collecting cards

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, August 23, 2018, In : Resources 


I've always loved collecting things, especially fact cards, so I was really pleased to discover this free trading card creator. You can use one of their pre-made templates or create your own categories. The above example of Paul shows one I created to include information about when and where he lived, his role and family background, Bible books he appears in and wrote, major events in his life and a couple of famous quotes from Scripture.

They have ready-made templates for people, places, obje...
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The joy of giving

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, In : Reflections 


This morning I was interviewed as part of some research on charitable giving at Northumbria University. I was asked about which charities I give to, how I give and my motivations, which was a great opportunity to reflect.

I haven't always given to charity and for me it's been a process of growing in my faith, trusting God more, appreciating what he's giving me, and realising that what Jesus said is true - it really is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20: 35).

There are a number of thi...

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Sites for Christian book lovers

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, June 14, 2018, In : Books 


I love books and I'm a Christian, so I do enjoy Christian books (as anyone who knows me or has been to my house will attest!). I've collected a number of useful links to sites where you can buy books, read reviews and support Christian literature charities. Enjoy!

Sites for Christian book-lovers

  • Books For Life - Videos of Christian leaders talking about the books that have changed their lives.
Shops


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Are we efficiently miserable? Relational breakdown vs the Kingdom story

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, June 4, 2018, In : Reflections 



Sometimes it’s hard to see what the goal of human progress is. As technology develops, we’re doing things quicker and more efficiently than ever before, but at what cost?

We’re bugged by constant reminders and notifications. We have advanced technological systems to keep us in line and ‘on track’ but what’s it all for?

We seem to be advancing technologically at the expense of human contact and community. We've lost the ability to relate to strangers. We can now perform mos...


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Giving what is most precious: Lessons from a young boy and his Easter egg

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, March 29, 2018, In : Reflections 


When I was younger, my family and I were often on holiday over Easter. Mum and I had a tradition that we’d always go to the Easter service at the local church, which I really enjoyed.

One Easter, we were on holiday somewhere in Wales and I was sitting in the pew next to a young boy and his mother. As is traditional at many churches on Easter day, all the children were to be given a chocolate egg at the end of the service. The little boy next to me clearly knew about this custom and was eager...

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Loving God

Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, In : Reflections 


“Jesus replied, ‘“Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
(Matt 22: 37 - 38)

What does it mean to love God? Maybe some of us would struggle to answer that question.

When I was younger I used to be taken by my Gran to see my great Auntie Nellie. I used to love going there because I knew that at the end of the visit I would be given 20p spends. Did I love Auntie Nellie? The truth is that I didn...

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10 Christian podcasts to grow your faith

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, In : Random stuff 


This is the third post in my series on recommended podcasts and there are some absolute gems to discover.

(1) Nomad 
Topic: Interviews with Christian thinkers
Frequency: Fortnightly
Run time: Variable. Usually about 90 mins.
This is my current favourite and I listen to it while I’m swimming (on a waterproof MP3 player). Tim and David present a fascinating showcase of thoughtful viewpoints. Topics range from ecology, uncertainty and consumerism to LGBT identity, the arts, and mission-shap...


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What's wrong with the world?

Posted by Anne Witton on Friday, February 2, 2018, In : Reflections 


The word ‘sin’ isn’t used much these days is it? We talk about making ‘mistakes’ as if it’s accidental. We talk about ‘inappropriate’ behaviour (a bit like wearing ‘inappropriate’ shoes for a night out). We talk about ‘misconduct’ as if someone wasn’t paying attention in deportment lessons and has been presenting themselves is a sloppy manner. We say ‘oh well, nobody’s perfect’ to excuse lying, selfishness, being deliberately horrible to people, holding grudges...

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Book recommendations 2017

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, December 21, 2017, In : Books 

As I look back on the year, one of the highlights has been the amount and scope of reading I've done. This was an intentional move which was fuelled by me deleting all the games from my phone in February. I have really loved re-discovering the many benefits of reading books.

In 2016 I read 40 books. In 2017 this increased to 134! There has been a total mixture of themes from science to humour via typography and transport. It’s almost impossible to pick favourites, but I’ve chosen...


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Thanksgiving

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, November 27, 2017, In : Ministry 


Our Thanksgiving celebrations are one of the highlights of the autumn term. This year we had an international bring-and-share celebratory meal at Heaton Baptist Church and it was a fantastic evening! We had about 50 guests and lots of delicious food. During the evening we had games, a quiz on the tables, some discussion and activities to enable people to cultivate an 'attitude of gratitude'. Kathi did a short talk on the fascinating origins of Thanksgiving in the USA and I followed with some ...
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Agapé Student Life in Newcastle showcase 2017

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, In : Video 
A video of photos and quotes from Agapé Student Life in Newcastle, from the academic year 2016 - 7.


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Doesn’t religion treat women terribly?

Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, In : Apologetics 


One of the many reasons that I love Jesus is his radical approach to women. At a time when women were treated as possessions and had virtually no voice in public life, Jesus unequivocally saw women as equal in worth and value to men.

Luke 7: 36 - 50 records the account of Jesus eating at a Pharisee's house when a prostitute weeps over his feet, kisses them and pours perfume on them in an intimate gesture of devotion. It's hard to describe how shocked and horrified the Pharisee (an up...


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Finding a future in the age of fear [MOVE magazine feature]

Posted by Anne Witton on Friday, May 5, 2017, In : Move magazine 


The latest edition of Agapé MOVE magazine is out and it's a great read. The theme is 'Finding a future in the age of fear' and it's packed with interesting articles and resources. As editor Danielle Wilson says:

"I don’t need to tell you that global events over the last year or so have left many of us feeling uncertain about the future, unsure if we really know our neighbours and perhaps paralysed in the face of unfathomable suffering.

We live in a world where talk is cheap, answers aren’t...

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Living Authentically [Move Magazine Feature]

Posted by Anne Witton on Saturday, May 7, 2016, In : Move magazine 


The latest edition of Move magazine is out and it's a cracker! It's all about how to live out and speak out our faith authentically in our communities, our families, universities and workplaces. There are loads of great ideas and conversation starters. Look out for the stories of two students from the North East, as well as the 'Word on the Street' feature where Emily and I had great fun talking about God to people on the streets of Newcastle!

Here's how Communications Director Danielle introd...
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Colouring with God

Posted by Anne Witton on Friday, March 11, 2016, In : Prayer 
I've recently been enjoying the current trend of colouring as a way to relax and get my creative juices going. Not being very artistically inclined, it's a good way for me to create something pretty to look at without being able to draw and it's a good way to focus the mind and get away from distractions.

I was really pleased to come across a website called 'Colouring with God' which is a great resource for Bible-focused colouring. 



They sell colouring books, cards and bookmarks will wonderful ...
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Fireseeds: Us engaging with God

Posted by Anne Witton on Friday, February 26, 2016, In : Bible study 
Last weekend was the fantastic Fireseeds annual student conference in Birmingham. It was a fabulous time of enjoying God together, learning from his word, worshipping and blessing the campus by cleaning grubby student kitchens!



On the Sunday morning, I had the privilege of speaking on the theme of 'Us Engaging With God' and so I chose to look at John 15. The talk wasn't recorded, but here are my notes which I hope will be interesting.

Context of passage

Building up to Jesus’ death. He...


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10 Top Christian Video Sites, Apps and Playlists

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, February 15, 2016, In : Video 



In our modern world there are lots of different ways of taking in information, and video is becoming increasingly popular. Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic and 78% of people watch videos online every week*.

There are some great sites and apps to help us share interesting and thought-provoking Christian videos online, so I thought I’d collect together some of the best.

Global Short Film Network

These short films are intended to raise spiritual questions and provide a s...


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Imagine if the Bible wasn't available in English

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, November 30, 2015, In : Infographics 
<-- Click the picture to enlarge

I came across this infographic and it really challenged me about how often we take the Bible for granted. Most of us have multiple different translations of the Bible, plus study guides and commentaries that are easily available. We also have access to free online / smartphone Bibles and so many Bible tools.

Yet we often neglect the precious jewel that has been entrusted to us and don't appreciate its full value. In our materialistic culture, it's easy to think ...

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Hub: Change

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, In : Hub 


Some discussion questions on on the subject of change:

  1. What have been the biggest changes in your life so far?
  2. How do you cope with lots of external changes (eg. leaving home, coming to a new city, making new friends)?
  3. Do you think that faith can bring stability during times of change? Why / why not?
  4. Are there things about yourself that you’d like to change?
  5. Is there anything in your life that never changes?

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Hub: Identity

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, In : Hub 
I thought it would be good to post some of the questions that we discuss in our Student Life weekly Hub on here so that you can think about them for yourselves and talk them through with your friends. Last week we explored the theme of Identity. Part of the presentation involved watching this TED video:



Discussion questions
  1. In what way do you think your identity is shaped by your family / cultural background / relationships with others?
  2. What’s the most important thing that you’d like others...

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Explaining Student Life

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, In : Ministry 

One of my roles on the team is to take responsibility for team communications. I'm off to a meeting tomorrow to network with church leaders from across the region and so I've put together a leaflet to explain more about what Student Life is and how we work.

I thought it might be interesting to a wider audience so here it is for your reading pleasure! I welcome any comments and questions, so feel free to get in touch.

Download the Student Life Newcastle leaflet (PDF)

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Sharing our faith together

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, October 5, 2015, In : Ministry 


I recently did a seminar at the annual TfT conference on the topic of sharing our faith with our gay friends. One of the things that I'm particularly excited about is sharing my faith in community, so here are some thoughts on that.

Evangelism is a team sport. There are three key reasons why sharing our faith together is important:

  1. In the body of Christ, we all have different and complementary roles.
    “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were a...

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Freshers' Week Prayer Diary

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, September 7, 2015, In : Ministry 


There's a lot of activity planned for Freshers' aimed at building community, encouraging friendships, developing leadership skills and sharing the Gospel. Please pray that each of the events below will be used by God to build His Kingdom and bring new students into the Student Life community.

Northumbria
Weds 9 - Fri 11 | Oasis Lounge hangout in Trinity Square
Mon 14, 7pm | Pool night
Tues 15, 1 - 4pm | Quayside trip
Weds 16 11am - 5pm | Freshers' Fair
Thurs 17 - Fri 18, 1 - 5pm | Oasis Lounge hang...

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Why Ben Folds made me cry (And other reflections on emotion)

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, July 2, 2015, In : Reflections 



I’m quite an emotional person and find that there’s something cathartic about a good cry. And I don’t just cry when I’m upset. I sometimes cry when I’m angry or frustrated, or every when I’m bowled over by joy.

I went to see Ben Folds performing with the Northern Sinfonia at the Sage last year and it was so jaw-droppingly sublime that I found tears of happiness rolling down my cheeks. I felt alive!

When I became a Christian, it was drummed into me that feelings may or may not foll...


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Princess Anne visits Gateshead Foodbank

Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, In : Random stuff 


Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting royalty as Princess Anne visited the Foodbank where I volunteer. The Princess spent a good amount of time chatting with us and finding out about how the Foodbank works.

There was lots of press coverage of the event. We had a great write up in the Chronicle which included a little interview with me, and I was also interviewed for BBC Look North.

It was a lovely occasion and will hopefully raise the profile of the Foodbank so that more people will support ...
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Evangelism castles

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, March 19, 2015, In : Ministry 
Recently, we've been doing a lot of thinking as a team about our model of ministry and how we do evangelism. Duncan has helpfully come up with a diagram that illustrates how we've been trying to move away from an 'Us vs Them' approach to evangelism in the way that we run Student Life.

My own personal conviction and approach to evangelism has changed over the years as I've grown in my faith and sought to help others come to know Jesus personally. I was definitely guilty in the past of taking qu...
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Invitation to the Agapé Move weekend

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, In : Training / conferences 


Details have just been released for Agapé's Move weekend - a chance for staff, supporters, student leaders and church leaders to enjoy fellowship, evangelism training and worship together. I'll be going and would love to be joined by friends and supporters. I think it'll be a really exciting time to hear stories of how God's at work and gain practical help with sharing our faith in our circle of influence, so why not check out the details and pray about whether you'd like to come?

12-14 June ...

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Why Student Life is special

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, February 19, 2015, In : Ministry 


Our aim at Student Life is to create a welcoming and inclusive community where people of all backgrounds and beliefs feel valued and listened to. We encourage people to make friends, enjoy free food, explore life's big questions and encounter Jesus in a safe environment where they can be themselves.

Kimberley and Jack did a seminar on community and gospel living at the Fireseeds conference and they asked students for their thoughts about Student Life. Here are some of the responses:

Student ...

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Soularium - Inviting spiritual conversations

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, January 19, 2015, In : Ministry 
Last week, I had my first experience of using Soularium to engage with students on campus. It’s a great tool to help people talk about what they believe and it seems like quite a natural way to get a conversation going.



There are 50 cards all with different photos, ranging from abstract and natural scenes to pictures of human activity and objects. The idea is that you invite people to choose 3 cards to answer each of these questions:

  1. Which images would you choose to describe your life at the ...

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New Staff Training Retreat - Heroes of Faith

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, January 12, 2015, In : Reflections 
Last week I was at the lovely Shallowford House for the New Staff Training Retreat, along with the other first year staff and interns. It was a great time of learning together, praying and having some retreat time to seek the Lord.



One of the things that we did was look at the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, so it was fitting that that was the passage I'd chosen to do my devotional on when we arrived.

Here's what I shared:

Hebrews 11 gives an account of men and women of God who have accomplished ...

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December news update and prayer requests

Posted by Anne Witton on Friday, December 19, 2014, In : Support 
The great news is that I've now got all the financial support that I need to start full-time on campus in the new year! I'm so thankful to God for his provision and to you for your faithful prayers, generous giving and lovely encouragements to press on when things have been tough.

We're having some staff time this Friday to reflect on this term and look ahead to next year so please pray that God will direct our thoughts and discussion as we make future plans. It's difficult to say what my time...

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November news update and prayer requests

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, November 6, 2014, In : Support 
It's been another really busy month. The big news on the house front is that - after a number of delays - we finally exchanged contracts and got the keys last Friday! I'm really excited about getting our ministry house and so grateful to God for his provision. I must admit that I'm feeling exhausted at the moment as it's quite stressful dealing with solicitors, financial advisors, banks, removal companies, utilities, insurance companies etc. and trying to make sure that everything is sorted o...

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VisualUnit: Biblical Infographics

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, In : Infographics 
I had a Good News Bible when I was younger and one of the things I liked most were the pictures. Especially this one, where Satan looks uncannily like Richard O’Brian from the Crystal Maze!


Being a visual person, I was quite disappointed to find that most Bibles don’t have pictures and maybe just include a couple of black and white maps at the back.

So imagine my delight when I discovered VisualUnit - an excellent site full of Biblical diagrams, illustrations and infographics! There are loa...

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Reckless Love for a Reckless Nation

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, September 8, 2014, In : Video 
The UK is both a place of great beauty and ugliness, progress and exploitation, creativity and soul-sapping consumerism, rich heritage and blinkered individualism.

This short Agapé film introduces some spiritual change agents and reflects with them on the state of the nation and how together we can help rehumanise our communities and cities.

If we grasp even for a moment God’s reckless, unconditional love for us, how will it transform our perspective and behaviour?


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Answers to common questions about Christianity

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, In : Resources 


The Agapé website has some really helpful resources including a selection of articles dealing with common objections and questions about Christianity.

These resources cover 21 diverse topics in a succinct and and clearly presented way. There's something for everyone as the range of subjects covered includes:

  • God and science
  • Relationships and sex
  • Suffering
  • Trusting the Bible
  • Reasons for faith
They are available free as PDF downloads here. Why not keep them on your iPad or smartphone to refer to or d...
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The Cwtch - Our vision for the new house

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, July 31, 2014, In : Ministry 

It all started when my friend Abby snapped her achilles tendon playing squash (let that be a lesson - exercise is bad for you!). She had an operation and was then discharged from hospital back to her house that she lived in alone that only had an upstairs bathroom. There was no way she could manage the stairs and so she came to stay with me as I also lived alone, but in a ground floor flat. Over the months that she stayed, we talked a lot about being single and living alone and the advantages...

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Help spread the word

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, July 3, 2014, In : Support 
A few people have asked how they can help me build my support team, which is very kind! It's great if you can point people to this website, but I realise that not everyone is into technology, so I have created a leaflet (with the wonderful help and design skills of Abby!).

The leaflet gives a bit of background about Agapé and tells a bit of my story, as well as explaining about the ministry I'll be doing and how people can support me. I have hard copies of the leaflet so do let me know if you...
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The adventure begins (again)

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, June 16, 2014, In : Ministry 
Last week I got some very exciting news. After much prayer, plus application and interview process, I have been accepted to work for Agapé UK (again). I say 'again' because I used to work for Agapé from 2000 - 2003. I was younger and less wrinkled then, but my vision was the same - to help students understand the good news about Jesus Christ and have their lives transformed by him.

Two days after being officially accepted, I was down in Birmingham on a Support Discovery training course. All ...
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