Leeds Vineyard

Andy's Story 

I’m learning to see myself as God sees me

Krys shared at our small group a number of weeks ago Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” or as The Passion Translation puts it, “but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”

Whilst I thought I knew what this verse meant for many years, it’s only recently that I have begun to experience the transformation that occurs as my mind and thinking have been renewed. There is a beautiful life awaiting all who learn to see life from this new perspective and who with the help of the Holy Spirit begin to step into all that He has for us.

Recently I have had to almost take a second look at the person that I am becoming and am sometimes barely able to recognise the new person that is emerging.

Situations which I have previously struggled with, where I would have disqualified myself* I am now coping with easily. Even small group itself, when asked at this time last year to name one thing that was stressing me out, being at the small group itself would have been close to the top of the list. 

There are many things which have contributed to this transformation. A lot of different things have come together almost simultaneously. At the Vineyard I have greatly benefited from co-leading the Contemplative Prayer group with Mark and Jane Burgess and being in Gareth and Krys’s small group. They have both provided excellent leadership and the encouragement and opportunity for me to step out and do new things. Closely allied to this is the Mining for Gold coaching materials based on the what Tom Camacho has introduced to the Vineyard. 

I am increasingly realising that this is something I am passionate about. Particularly as we move ahead with our vision for Vineyard House and the various opportunities that this will open up for us. 

I am coming to see that there is a gold within me and indeed in all of us that we often are blind to. Namely, the Lord’s purpose and intentionality for us to be conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29) It is not something we have to strive for to achieve, but it is more a matter of realising who we are because of His grace and living out of that renewed identity.

To finish, I have never considered myself to be an academic by any stretch of the imagination. On the contrary I have often told myself I will never sit another exam! However, prompted by a desire to serve the Lord in China and converse in Chinese with Chinese friends I already have,  I recently put myself forward to sit the first level Chinese HSK Exam. 

The exam was in November and I found out last week that I had passed, and with a nearly perfect mark!!

Back to my starting remark. I do not recognise the person that I am becoming!! But an amazing transformation is beginning to happen as I begin to see myself the way He has always seen me.


Heavenly Father I thank you for your great love for every person here this morning. As we have been reminded over the last few weeks there is nothing we can do to make you love us more and nothing we can do to make you love us less. We are highly favoured in your eyes.

So dear Father it is my prayer that for each one of us here, that You would open our eyes in a new way to the way that you see us. No matter where we have come from help us to step into everything You have for us and leave behind any limiting doubt and negativity that has held us back.

Dear Father, where we have convinced ourselves that we just aren’t good enough I pray that you would open our eyes to how amazingly good You are to us and that incredible provision that You have made available through Your grace for us. Help us to live daily in the amazing dream and plan you have for us.

And we are asking all this in the Name of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus.


*Disqualifying myself - making it as far as the starting blocks in a race but ruling myself out of the race before it even begun.