Thursday, 27 December 2012

Skype

As a family today we sat down and opened our Christmas presents watched by Nicky's Dad, Mum and Sister. Nothing unusual about that except they are the other side of the world in Australia, Perth!
Amazing as all 8 of us caught up and celebrated Christmas together.

I know there are thousands of miles between us
I know there are many different time zones to be crossed
I know they sat in their shorts whilst we huddled indoors
I admit the technology dropped us a couple of times and we had to reconnect...

But still great to take the opportunity to cross these barriers and enjoy each other.

What barriers have you allowed to come between you and those you love this last year?

I believe following the Christmas break there are more applications for divorce that at any other time of the year.

I love the story behind the Christmas song - 'Pipes of peace' - where those normally fighting each other would stop and share peace. Should you take a moment to connect to family at this time of year & tell them you love em?!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

What are you known for?

Last Sunday night we had a great time with the house full of neighbours who had come to drink mulled wine, eat mince pies and to spend time together. An intriguing evening where I discovered lots about those I live closest to: one guy over the road has lived with his wife in the same house for 62 years!

Half way through one conversation a couple, who live 5 doors down the street from our house, both stopped and pointed their fingers at me; mouth and eyes wide open as if a mystery had just been revealed. They pronounced together - you are the 'laugh'.
These 2 new friends shared how they had often heard raucous laughter floating along on the air waves and they had wondered who it was and what was going on. This led them to declare 'from now on when we hear the laughter start we are just going to invite ourselves over and join the fun!'

I have to admit this is not the first time that my laugh has been commented on. When I left the first church I worked for the one thing they said they were going to miss was my laughter. I embarrassed my daughter on the bus only last week - I was laughing so much she declared the 3 girls sat near her were laughing at me!

I am happy to be know as one who laughs:o)

What are you known for?

My vision is that Redeemer is known as a church where all ages and nations are very welcome. I want us to see a church established where the Bible is preached, where the Holy Spirit is in control, where the good news about Jesus is shared and where people discover genuine love and community. I do not want Redeemer to be known by the things that we are against but rather for the good that we do for the poor.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Wrapped

An assortment of shapes and sizes, nicely wrapped in bright colourful paper under a Christmas tree is for many of us the image of Christmas. 

Kids love to madly tear in excitement whilst the more mature gently unpick the sellotape (pretending they do not want to break the fragile gift but more than likely so they can re-use the  paper the following year)

Giving can be as exciting as receiving and last night I spent the evening wrapping presents hoping that when opened they would bring joy and laughter. 
I fear that I was too slow off the mark: My wife informed me some time ago that she wanted new boots for Christmas. These had been purchased, tried on and were in a box waiting to be wrapped. However I discovered yesterday she has changed her mind and returned the present - I had not even had a chance to wrap it!

I digress....

Most of us realise that the paper is cheap and fun - but the thing of value is inside, the thing worth treasuring. 

I love Christmas - the food, the friends, the film, the family memories, the carols, the time off work. Yet all of this is really only like the wrapping paper - fun yet cheap compared to the present of God's Son Jesus. 

I hope you have a truly great Christmas and that you get beyond the paper and know Jesus.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Neighbours

In years gone by I used to love the TV programme 'Neighbours' -even watched it twice one day in case the programme changed between lunchtime and the evening: I was a student with nothing better to do than observe Kylie and Jason! (In my defence I have not watched the programme in 20 years!)

The theme tune used to go
Neighbours - should be there for one another
Thats when good neighbours become good friends.

Wherever I have lived I have made an effort to get to know my neighbours.

I have been really grateful over the last year:
It was a neighbour who suggested I get involved in the Olympic Opening Ceremony
At the last count at least 5 different neighbours have taken in parcels which arrived when I was not home to receive them
Our neighbours had us round for fireworks and food in November
Our neighbour lends us his ladder
Our neighbours are chatty and friendly

Tomorrow night I have invited some of my neighbours round for Mulled wine and mince pies.....can't wait, should be a great evening!

In what ways do you connect to those you live near?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Liar liar!

I know that it is cold outside.... I cycled to work, I see people scrapping their cars, the ice is still on the road, I feel as if I can see my breath in the office!

Having said that I love a cold Christmas. To me there is something special about sipping pipping hot mulled wine, something cosy about sitting watching a roaring fire in the lounge and something so special when gathering indoors to play board games with friends on a chilly night.

I am not sure that my car agrees. I feel as though the ageing metal machine that I gently coax into taking my family places is in denial. I am convinced that the car prefers the warm weather.

Only last night as I was driving friends to the station, the display on the dashboard, informed me the outside temperature was 30 degrees!  I am not sure whether to laugh, to agree with one mature in years or to shout at it - liar lair!


Some things are so blatantly not true.

I personally believe that the Bible describes marriage as God's idea. He created it for one man and one woman. Those who try and declare otherwise are like my car stating it is hot when it is obviously not. I feel I cannot just laugh or even agree with others more mature than me. Everything inside of me wants to shout - liar liar!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Billy Graham

We have a guy as part of Redeemer Church who was saved during the Billy Graham crusade of 1954. He has lent me the book: 'Harringay Story: A detailed account of the Greater London Crusade.'

Billy Graham is a legend. This book gives an insight into the early days of his ministry and there are many wonderful lessons I hope to retain:

  • Keep the main thing - the main thing: telling people the good news about Jesus
  • Great to get churches working together
  • Think BIG - they did a 12 week crusade
  • Mobilise teams - the mission is so much larger than we can accomplish on our own.
  • Do not let finance get in the way
  • Vital to get people plugged into church
  • Families will make a sacrifice to see the gospel advance
  • Pursue excellence - even in small details
  • Do not try and copy others - build the way God tells you

I would love to see the churches work together again - to raise a loud voice across the Capital - making the name of Jesus known!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Tipping Point

I have loved reading Malcolm Galdwell's book this week: 'The Tipping Point How little things can make a big difference'

So often the best that we can hope for is a gradual increase in whatever we are doing. I do not knock that as in these days of difficulty and recession just to be still going is doing well.
And yet it is still good to believe for and dream of bigger days than we are seeing at present.

The author points out that some things can act as a trigger suddenly tipping things in a very positive direction. Malcolm studies diverse situations such as the sales of Hush puppies, Sesame Street & Blue's Clues, the possible start of the American Revolution and the fall of crime in New York.

As we approach the end of 2012 I am grateful to God for the small steps that we have taken in starting a new church in Ealing: gathering a small group in our home, socialising over food, starting to build community, establishing links with other churches & meeting at Ealing Town Hall on Sunday mornings.

I look forward to 2013 and want to pray and believe for a 'Tipping Point' in Redeemer Church. As well as praying to God for Him to supernaturally move amongst us,  I also want to pause over Christmas and think are there small changes that we can make that will help take us forward.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Handel - Messiah - Hallelujah Chorus



I have booked tickets for Nicky and I to see Handel's Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday 14th December... can't wait!

Watched this to get me in the mood:)

For those who have followed my blog will realise that I seem to be slipping into a rut.... this is the umpteen clip that I have cried my way through (at least 3 times this morning!)

Amazing to think the one who died naked and humiliated on a cross has inspired this passionate praise and worship - I am sure the crowds singing in heaven will be absolutely incredible! Make sure and book your ticket for that event.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Desperate ....

For 75 years kids (& adults) have loved flicking through a comic called 'The Dandy'. My favourite character was Desperate Dan - what was yours?

The weekly print run used to be 2 million but that has now dropped to just over 8,000.

Fascinating to see on the TV today that people are rushing out to buy a souvenir copy of the magazine they cherished as a child. From now on you will only be able to read The Dandy on line.

Society is rapidly changing and the way we do many things are changing .... listening to music, taking photos, catching up on TV programmes missed, banking, sending Christmas cards (my 1st one this year was an ecard!)

The question then becomes how does the church adapt or will it die?

I believe one of the advantages of a new church is that is can be more flexible: it can quickly connect to today's society without worry about the traditions of the past.

A bit like the new on line Dandy  - 'it is dramatic and different' - why not come on Sunday to Ealing Town Hall at 10am and find out for yourself?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Pouring money down the drain

If I am honest (I know it is always best to tell the truth) I had noticed for the last couple of days ...or so... that there was a problem with the drain at the side of the house.
Often when someone had a shower we generated a puddle by the back door. I hoped that the odd leaf I scooped out was what caused the problem but in reality I could see the water was still not draining away.

I was hoping that if I ignored the problem it would go away - it didn't - yes you wise people have guessed, it got worse.

Yesterday I decided to lift the manhole cover further along the path and discovered there was a blockage (I have not included a photo).

Fortunately we know a guy who came out and cleared the blockage and it is great to have all back in good working order.  (Having said that the £80 charge feels like pouring money down the drain!)

The whole episode did get me thinking.
If there are problems in life it is better to sort them out sooner rather than allow them build up.
Say sorry quickly. Forgive. If you feel unwell see the doctor. If you struggle with lessons speak to the teacher this week. if you are feeling overwhelmed ask for help.

The longer you leave things the more costly it is to fix.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Is anyone home?

I read in the Metro this morning that Head teachers in Sweden have been told that it is OK to take pupils to Christmas services in church - as long as they don't hear about Jesus!

Christmas is the time of year when many will visit and enjoy the carols, the candles, some mulled wine and mince pies....it is seasonal, nostalgic, even Christmassy.
I know that in the UK other occasions in life when most people are traditionally likely to enter a church building is 'hatch, match and dispatch' (birth, wedding and funeral) - essential services provided.
When Nicky and & I visited Rome earlier this year - along with many other tourists - we wandered around many grand church buildings: inspired by the size, the art, the history.

Yet if you came to visit me at home and I was out you might be disappointed. If you let yourself in and went round my home with none of my family there I would accuse you of breaking and entering.

The thought of going to church and God not being there is tragic.

When people come and visit Redeemer on a Sunday morning at Ealing Town Hall - I want them to go away thinking what a welcoming friendly bunch and how well we looked after their children. I hope they have enjoyed the worship and that the talk from the bible has been helpful - but my main desire is that all leave having encountered the living God!

Monday, 26 November 2012

1st of many.... I hope!

1st video ever recorded on my phone...
1st time that my son Josh has played drums with a band....
1st gig in a pub - audience of approx 100!

Loved driving him there and watching him play.
Great to enjoy time chatting and being together.
I have now bagged the rights to be 1st driver on any and all future performances!

Won't be the last time I am proud of my son:)

Friday, 23 November 2012

THE PARENT RAP



Parenting can be hard work - but remember children are a gift from God!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Making a splash!

It is nearly 2:30pm and I am sat at my desk still moist after a wet cycle ride this morning.

I have since discovered that - We had 111 mm of rainfall across our area from 1 to 31 October 2012, which is 148 per cent of the 128-year monthly average. I wonder what the results will show for the month of November?

I appreciate that many people love and appreciate the rain - 'good for the garden' & 'ideal for ducks'.
As a kid I used to love wading around in my wellies on a wet day. It was superb fun seeing how close you could get the water to the top of the boots without letting any flood in! I used to love the chance when walking beside someone who had not noticed a puddle of jumping in with both feet and seeing how wet I could make them.

I still wish to make a splash / get a lot of public attention. No longer just to soak someone for fun but to announce a new church called Redeemer that will be starting on Sunday 27th January 2013.

We have a website, a face book page, a twitter account, a phone number (0208 099 5692), place 2 A frame boards outside Ealing Town Hall each Sunday morning, will start by distributing 20,000 leaflets and giving away 5,000 business cards....

We plan to put posters up on the public boards around Ealing Borough, we are making contact with folk at West London University, we are negotiating to advertise on the back of the Ealing magazine...

If you have any other ideas how we can let people know what is going to take place or are available to come and join us for the day please get in touch!

Lets make the biggest splash we can!!!!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Countdown!

Today my 3 teenagers received their Maltesers Advent Calendar from their Grandma.

I am not sure who came up with the idea of eating a chocolate a day from the 1st to 24th December but it seems to be approved of in our house.
I recall that when I was a child we opened a numbered  'window' on a picture of the manger scene - including Jesus and the shepherds - but there was no chocolate. (We might even have closed the windows and re-opened the same calendar the following year - we knew how to have fun!)

I have not been given a chocolate advent calendar - but will now go and buy one.... a bigger one than the kids if I can find it!

The reality is that we all have events that we look forward to and it is fun to create ways of counting down and getting ready - for the birth of a baby, to a wedding day, planning a once in a lifetime holiday....

I am excited and counting down until the official launch of the new church called Redeemer on Sunday 27th January 2013.  Why not come and join us at Ealing Town Hall 10am in 9weeks and 6days?!

Friday, 16 November 2012

A Hope & A Future

Literally in a couple of days I have ploughed through the book 'A Hope and A Future' written by Wes Richards.

It is the true and very moving story about Wes and his family. A godly man, who leads a church and has spent years doing good for many others locally and abroad. About 10 years ago his wife was diagnosed with cancer and within a short period of time died leaving Wes with many questions to answer and 3 children to love and care for.

The book is real and honest. There are no trite answers to the question 'why do the good die young?' There is genuine grief and trials.

We all go through difficult times. We could all benefit from the story. I trust we will all come through dark days clinging to the verse in the Bible from which the book takes its title:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, 12 November 2012

Being the best Dad!



Come on Dad's lets raise the bar in the way we demonstrate our love for our kids!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We will remember

Although I do not agree and support all wars. Though there are many actions I can never endorse which occur during military conflict - I do want to stop and remember the soldiers.

It was good at church this morning to have a minutes silence: to have an opportunity to pray for all those who have lost loved ones in battle, to pray for those who are having to adapt due to life changing injuries sustained on duty.

I am amazed by the bravery and loyalty of those who have and continue to serve in the forces
Thank you.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Example



I appreciate this guys daily 1 minute wisdom.

Watch. Live. Sign up. Make a difference!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Meeting the Old Boss

Today Nicky & I travelled to Camberley to see Mark & Bev Landreth-Smith. They moved to the area in 1997 when Mark planted The Beacon Church which has now grown from 30 to 300. 

I worked for Mark for 3 years - more than 11 years ago....


It was great to see the wonderful building that the church have now developed to serve the community. It was amazing to hear the stories of some of the lives that God is touching through this bunch. 
It was thrilling to see how faithfully they reach into the area and the impact they are having.
It was really nice to relax and chat with friends .... hearing about family and being honest with one another.

Not really meeting the old boss - more like spending time with a brother! 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Grandad

Following the death of my grandfather aged 94 on 23rd October - today we buried him at Halland Chapel.

A man who will be enormously missed by his son and daughter especially - but also by all who knew him.

He loved God, so I am sure he is in a better place where there is no suffering and pain.

We grieve as those who will miss him but we still have a future hope - that one day we will see him.

Goodbye Grandad!

                        

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Ascent from darkness

Last week I was lent the book 'Ascent from Darkness', telling the true story of Michael Leehan, and I have not been able to put down this gripping read!

For 20 years he worked as a soldier for Satan. Now he is a warrior for God

Sad to read about such evil and the result of following the Father of lies.

Challenging to read about the patient ever-loving Christians and their friendship to Michael.

Inspiring to learn about a transformed life totally dedicated to serve Jesus - energetically and daily!

A quick read that I trust will have a long lasting impact on mine and your life!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

1st Christmas dinner!

This weekend I had my 1st Christmas dinner of 2012!


Sunday night I worked my way through - roast turkey, sausages & bacon, brussel sprouts, parsnips, roast potatoes, stuffing - followed by Christmas pudding and custard!
Yes we even pulled Christmas crackers, groaned at the jokes and had a go at charades whilst wearing our Christmas hats! (The kids were disappointed we had no presents!)

I know that I have a reputation for celebrating Christmas too early (I still think the best time to put up the decorations, turn on the music and tuck into the Christmas cake is the 1st December) but our celebrations this weekend were due to a different reason....

My in-laws are off to Australia for 3 months and will be away from the middle of November to half way through February. They will have to suffer no roast dinner - they may get to throw some prawns on the BBQ - so we celebrated with them before they left.

I admit that I love Christmas - but I love family more.
The real reason we ate together on Sunday was not the food and the seasonal delights but being together with the extended family!
I am so aware that whatever you go through in life - your family are there for you. We so love and appreciate our families and all they have done for us.

If it helps anyone in the family I am happy to have Christmas dinner with them any day!

What could you do to show your family you love them?

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Remember remember....

'Remember remember the 5th November
Gunpowder treason & plot'

When I was a primary school teacher I used to get the children chanting the lines above to.....I guess it was to make the lessons more interactive and memorable!

I am not sure why each year we celebrate an attempt to blow up Parliament or gather with friends to commemorate the divide caused by religion?

Having said that I do enjoy standing round a fire on a cold Autumn evening, love drinking hot soup, watching fireworks and writing my name in the dark sky with a sparkler!

I am glad that my neighbours have invited me to their place tonight to celebrate! (I know it is a week early - its a season not a day)

Happy Bonfire Night!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

have a break... have a?



When I was growing up I used to love the adverts - have a break have a kitkat!

The danger is that life gets so busy, one week races into the next, the job list never gets any shorter....

It is good to take a break. Pause. Reflect. Think. Plan. Pray.

I am so glad that a team from Redeemer have agreed to take 2 days and attend the HTB Leadership conference at the Royal Albert hall next year just to do that.

Have you planned in a break from the routine of your life - a chance to lift your head, check you are still on the right course and catch your breath before running hard again?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Overcrowding

If all the sheds in the world were placed next to each other they would go round the world 6 1/2 times!
We have 12 million sheds in the UK alone.
Last year as a nation we sent £85million on sheds.

I feel the need to confess my guilt in this area:
In my defence we live in a Victorian end of terrace house in London so I have no garage (not that I ever put my car in the one I owned previously - but I need somewhere to store the clutter).
Last year we brought a small shed to squeeze into our small back garden. However 5 bicycles, a unicycle, a workbench and garden tools later my family complained the space was not usable.
This week I have brought another shed - yes I am now a 2 shed family!

I would have liked to have cleared out - but Nicky would not let me throw away any of the kids bikes.

I realise that I am not alone in having more possession than storage space. I see springing up around lots of self storage facilities.
Is this the result of recession when we don't want to throw anything away?
Do we gain our identity from what we own?
Is it that the world is changing so rapidly we want to keep everything with a sense of history and occasion?

I know we will not be able to take it when we leave this earth - how can we live simpler less cluttered lives whilst we are here?

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Peach & The Coconut

I have been enjoying Simon Benham's, the leader at Kerith Community Church's, book 'The Peach & The Coconut.'

It is a very helpful insight into the values behind the hows and whys of their successful growing church.

I am amazed that a guy who leads a large team and church, as well as a great family is able to find the time to write a book! I know that the book is a result of determination, sacrifice and continual hard work. (I recognise the truth behind the saying 'if you want a job done, ask a busy person')

I am sure that I will never write a book (it is gracious of you to wade through my spelling and grammatical mistakes on this blog.)

Would you ever like to write a book? If so what would the subject be?

I think the challenge for all of us is do we think we have hit capacity already - or can we through diligence, bold decisions and hard work still see more accomplished?!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Virtual Friends

I was really saddened when I last went to the theatre in London that during the break so many people turned to social media rather than make the most of the time, interacting with those they had attended the event with.

But I was still shocked to learn today that more than half of us admit to viewing social media when sharing a romantic meal.... a table for 2 becomes a setting for 12!
2/3 of us confess to using Facebook during a meal and nearly a 1/3 go on twitter.
1/4 tweet their partner rather than speak with them.

At this point I would like to plug how you can keep in touch with Redeemer:
@Redeemer
www.facebook.com/redeemerlondon
www.redeemerlondon.org.

As much as I love you being interested please don't check us out when you are meant to be focused on a loved one.

As a husband invest focused time in your wife
As a Dad give undivided attention to your kids.

As a church I think it is really important that we build deep genuine relationships. I want us to have undisturbed time together; to listen to each other - even with our eyes, to express to each other that we highly value the person we are with rather than trying to get noticed by an absent crowd.

Turn off your technology and tune into those you love.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Count me in...



I have heard lots about the wonderful work of the above and have signed up for a training session in November, so that hopefully I can get involved this year.

In what way do you serve in the community?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Spread the news!



I am thrilled to report that Redeemer has now launched its web site!

I appreciate that things will develop and change but it is great to get it started.

Why not have a look and see what you think..... then show it to your friends and see if they want to visit!

Redeemer London

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Missing out on being a Dad!

It was 27 years ago that I probably spent more time sat next to my Dad than at any other point in my life.
I am not sure that it was a pleasurable experience for either of us - but one of those 'Father-Son' bonding times. (My Mum was not qualified for the challenge and if she had of been would not have been prepared to attempt the task.)
My Father and I never talk about the events now, but having said that most days I am grateful for what he taught me to do.....drive a car!

My oldest son has now made it to 17 and the government in their wisdom have issued him a provisional drivers licence!

However sadly times have changed: whether it is my living in London or that speedy 1600 11 year old Zafira that I own - I cannot afford to insure the car for my son to drive. Recently I visited the gocompare website and of the 183 companies searched 1/2 would not consider insuring us and the others quoted between £3,000 & £7,000.

Rather than having a front row seat in this stage of his life I will have to settle for cheering my son on from the front door as I pay the driving instructor for the extra lessons required.

What did your father do for you that you can no longer do for your son?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Average Family

I guess none of us like to be considered 'average' - it is not what most of us strive to be and aim for.
I remember that when I was a primary school teacher every parent assumed their child was just a little above average.
I wonder if you would describe your family as average?

I read in the paper (so it must be true!) that in the UK the average family:
Earns £39,000 a year
Drives a Ford car
Has children in bed by 8:10pm
Owns 3 laptops
Spends £81.92 a week on food
Has 5 arguments a day

I would like to dream that my family are more like The Incredibles: each a hero with their own gift and abilities that when combined as a unit can achieve amazing results.

I totally recognise that church planting is a whole family adventure. Last week Nicky & Lois were serving on the kids work and Isaac & Josh was responsible for all that was projected onto the screen. This week the 4 of them are all serving again!

To me catching the family up on mission prevents us from just being average .... how do you ensure your family does incredible things for God?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The last time my brother made me cry

My brother Steve sent me this last week.
I watched and wept.
I dare you to take 10 minutes and see how the clip impacts you.....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Numbers, numbers, numbers

Today I read that face book has passed 1 billion users and that Lady Gaga has more than 30 million followers on Twitter. I guess we all like to count....

If you go to a football match the scoreboard paints a picture of how the game is going
My child's reports contains a quick glance of progress in each subject -  1 being excellent, 4 not quite so good!
When waiting at the bus stop I scan the numbers on the front of the bus to see where it is going.
Numbers are so useful in everyday life.

I know that many church planters count - most things: attenders on a Sunday, giving for the month, first time visitors, baptisms in a year,  hands in response to an appeal....after all it is biblical.... there is a whole book in the Bible called 'Numbers'.

I sometimes wonder if the real challenge is how do we count: like a factual accountant or with the faith of a sales man? Does the bigger number make me look good or is it more for the glory of God?

What is it that you count? Why?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

What is your DNA?

At the beginning of the year our family started a small group in our home - one of the advantages of having 3 kids is that the group never got smaller than 5!

It has been really exciting to see things develop during 2012.
Gradually our front room has got fuller and fuller as God has spoken with people from across the country and brought them to the area to join us.

It has been so exciting to literally have to top up the kettle 3 or 4 times at the start of the evening just to make everyone a drink. We have filled every chair we own into the lounge and still people sit on the floor. I am surprised we have not had to replace the batteries in the doorbell due to over use.

I have loved it.

Yet last Wednesday was our last time together. We had prayed and planned ready to multiply the group; to make more time for each other and space for more guests.

We decided not to go from 1 group to 2.
We choose not to multiply from 1 group to 3
We now have 4 groups!

A bold move but we so want the DNA of Redeemer to be faith: to take risks and believe that God is able.


Now I can't wait till tomorrow for the 1st meeting of our new group and wonder when we will multiply it again!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Jesus revealed in all the books of the Bible



Today I preached about the whole of the Old Testament pointing to Jesus.

I found this video clip from Oral Roberts inspiring!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Must have been good this year!

I have always been one to get excited about Christmas: this year feels no different.
When the evenings get shorter - by that I mean it gets darker earlier, the weather gets colder, I get wetter cycling on my bike & the leaves start to fall - then I start to look forward to Christmas.

Yesterday I tweeted (@petecornford) that it was 'only 3 months till Christmas - am I allowed to get excited yet?'

Fascinated by how many responses this comment generated.

Even more surprised to get home and find this waiting for me on the mantle piece above the fireplace - obviously been a good boy this year! 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

There's something in the water....

I was very excited yesterday to get a text from a friend declaring that he had got engaged the night before! I believe marriage is a wonderful gift from God.

When a guy proposes you can feel the love in the air. Plans are being made for a great wedding day; dreams begin for a life's adventure together. I genuinely feel really excited for the couple.

Imagine my surprise when I got a second text yesterday declaring that another friend had proposed on Sunday night.... double joy!

2 friends propose on the same day...
Is this just a strange coincidence?
Is there something in the water?
Has anyone else got anything to declare?

Congratulations to Dan & Esther and to James & Charlotte!

I am very pleased for you both and also for myself: I must still be young as I now hope to be invited to more weddings than funerals next year!


Friday, 21 September 2012

Good to look back



8 weeks ago the eyes of the world were fixed on this ....I still love looking at it.

I have just received a letter from the Prime Minister thanking me for taking part.

What do you enjoy looking back at?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Hunger Games

Earlier this year as a family we went to see the film 'The Hunger Games'.


I was impressed that this inspired my youngest son to read all 3 books and that my wife Nicky also could not put the 3 volumes down. I must be a late adopter.... as I am now following the example of others and have taken up the challenge to read.

I have to be honest I have been gripped: the first book I read in a couple of days, the second at a similar speed and the third I almost missed my connections on the tube this morning as I was so engrossed.

I do not wish to spoil the books for those who have to start - but I wonder what makes them so good?
The idea of youth v age?
The natural v the established?
The oppressed throwing off the bully?
The confusion of love?

Maybe we each find life like a battle, we are shocked by those who observe violence for fun, we perceive the fashions of society as trivial and distorting?

Have you read the books? What did you think?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

What moves you?




So inspired by a young married couple who with their new baby moved into the Ealing area this weekend - just so they can be actively involved in the church plant.

Not put off by:
a new job,
a young family
or expensive accommodation.....

may God richly bless them in this life and the next!


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Investing for the long term

One of the most helpful parenting tips I heard when our children were small came from Rob Parsons 'If you speak to your child when they are 3, 4 and 5 they will listen when they are 13, 14 & 15.'

I am sure most of us recognise the value of investing in relationships. We appreciate that deep friendship is built up over time. Often there are many shared experiences that create a whole bank of memories.

With the business of life it is easy to neglect the ones we love the most. One of the things Nicky & I found very difficult when moving to Australia is that you have no 'relational history' with anyone close by.

As my kids get older I am determined to keep on building positive memories with them. I know that I have to be more intentional than when they were young: then a spontaneous tickle or play fight could result in much laughter. Now I have to book time with them in advance as their diaries get busy and often money is involved.

Having said that as a family we have discovered we all enjoying going out for dinner and I felt time supporting England at Wembley this week - though not the 5 goal win I wanted - was another great opportunity to invest in my kids!


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A huge privilege...

I love gathering each Sunday with the local church: one of the hardest things for me over the last year has been the fact that I have not been involved in one. The sense of family, serving as a team, caught up in a bigger vision..... I have so missed.

I appreciate that Sundays roll round quickly, that church plants can be lots of hard graft but to me it is such a privilege to gather with other who want to see a church established and grow. I love it!

Officially Redeemer is not planning to launch until sometime in 2013 - we are still developing a web site and have no literature at present. But we do gather together 10am every Sunday morning at the Town Hall in Ealing.

Why don't you come and visit us one week?


Friday, 7 September 2012

Where have all the years gone???


Today my oldest son, Josh is 17!


Friends of ours have recently had babies and I remember so well Josh arriving. We took photos of his 1st trip out in the pram, 1st outfit and 1st nappy change!

I must be getting old as the year have flown by.

I am so proud of how well my son is turning out. He works hard at school, serves at the new church, has good friends, always has interesting facts, is fun to be with and does not get flustered by me (or his mother) - basically he is an all round great lad!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Paralympics!

It was a huge privilege last night to be part of the crowd in the Olympic Stadium and cheer on the athletes who each gave their all.

We had wandered round the Olympic Park and were impressed and wowed by the designs, the creativity and the great landscaping. We enjoyed tasting the International cuisine on offer and sat soaking up the action on the big screen.

Nothing prepared us for the energy and volume of the 80,000 crowd cheering and applauding every nation and each individual athlete. So pleased the respect shown for the various national anthems played as we stood and recognised the achievements of the medalists.

The highlight for me was the fanatic flag waving and passionate singing of the national anthem when we won gold! Amazing!


It brings alive the picture in the bible regarding a huge crowd of witnesses that cheer us on as we play our part , demonstrating courage and passion, committed to see the Kingdom of God advance where we live.

These athlete, despite difficulties, hold nothing back and neither should we.
Not that our name will be heard but people will sing the praise of the King of Kings!

Monday, 3 September 2012

The great fire of London...

Sunday 2nd September 1666 a spark caught and resulted in the Great Fire of London that had a huge impact on the capital.
Sunday 2nd September 2012 Redeemer had its first Sunday meeting @10am in Ealing Town Hall - believing for massive impact in this city and beyond.

I was so excited to see passion ignited in people's heart: resulting in growing faith and a willingness to serve.

A friend who came to support us on the first week summed things up so well "Great team, great location, great church and even greater God .... expecting great things."

Loving being part of the adventure!

Why not come and join us?


Sunday, 26 August 2012

A trip down memory lane

Whilst growing up I always remember my Aunt having a large picture on her wall that I loved to stare at for hours.
Take your time and have a look:


What reminds you of years gone by?

Friday, 24 August 2012

A mega proud Dad

I know that all parents of school year 10 & 11 pupils have felt the strain of results this week. Despite charts showing national progress (or not) it is the individual child stood in front of you and the plan or change of plan that moves you most.

This time last year my children did not even have school places. Josh and Lois had both missed coursework and lessons vital for their GCSE's. They had been moved to the other side of the world and back again meaning they have both had 3 different secondary schools.


Lois was entered for 2 exams at the end of year 10 and managed to get 2 A's!
Josh took and passed 6 exams (3 B's, 1 A & 2 A*) and now has a place in 6th form.

I am very grateful to the amazing work and dedication of the staff at Twyford School.
I feel as though my family has now truly settled back into the UK.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Friday, 10 August 2012

The essential guide to Healing

I enjoy reading as a way to relax and learn.
I love sitting down with a cup of tea, a good book and a pen!

I often judge a book by how much I underline when reading it....
If I do not underline much it is either because I do not understand it or I feel it is material I am very familiar with.
If I underline loads it is because I want to remember the statements and am sure that I will flick back through the book and use the ideas in the future.

I have just finished reading 'The Essential Guide to Healing' and was concerned at one point that I would run out of ink and need another pen! I do not think there is a single page that I have not marked in some way.

The authors challenged my thinking, moved my heart and massively inspired me.

I know that Jesus told the story about the wise and foolish man. The foolish man heard his word and did nothing about it - the wise man built his life on the words of Jesus.

I hope that I will not only have enjoyed this book but that it will shape how I live the rest of my life!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Blood is thicker than water.

Fantastic day yesterday when many of our extended family got together.
Life can be so busy and we live spread across the country.
So when 28 turned up for a BBQ at our place it was a special afternoon.
(I cannot remember the last time the 3 brothers were in the same room.)


I do know that no matter whatever happens in life - family are there for you.
This is one of the reasons I love it when the Bible describes the church as a family.

I challenge you - spend time with your family and tell them that you love them!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

1 month to go....

In the first week of January this year we started gathering a small group of folk in our home that would like to see a church called Redeemer planted in London.

Since Easter we have been gathering every other Sunday to enjoy food together: curry, BBQ, picnic, pancakes...

On Sunday September 2nd we are planning our first Sunday meetings 10am at the Town Hall Ealing. It will be a great opportunity for folk to discover new gifts and abilities ready for our launch early next year.


I am loving getting to know the amazing people that God has called to join us on this adventure. Some still need to find accommodation in the area. I am hoping there are still some more who will come and join us!

Please pray for us, come and visit one Sunday and consider a move to come and join us!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

All that work for nothing....

I will pretend this will be my last post regarding the Olympic Opening ceremony (but I am sure I will keep telling the story for years!)

Danny Boyle had requested that the cast for the Industrial Revolution allow their hair to grow a bit longer and not shave for a while.
After 10 days I ended up looking like this:


I was going to have a vote and see whether people thought I should keep the look....
I found that opinions were forthcoming regarding my new appearance:
my daughter told me it made me look like a character out of the Bible
my mother in law told me it looked sexy
my wife said no!

I wondered if I could keep everyone happy so went for the following options:














Having said that Nicky won the day and I am now clean shaven again!
That was 10 days hard work down the drain (sink to be precise!)

What have you spent time doing only to end it was not appreciated.

Who do you listen to the most?

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Opening Ceremony - I was there!

A huge privilege to be part of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Struggled to see myself on TV but here is the evidence of me climbing down the Tor!

My name and even my photo is in the back of the programme. (white shirt on right)


I will miss all the wonderful people involved - thanks for an amazing incredible once in lifetime opportunity - to be involved in the greatest show on earth!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wedding Anniversary!


20 years ago today Nicky and I were married!

She has just finished University and I had completed my first year of teaching.

We have lived in 2 countries, had 3 kids and made 8 different houses our home.

I am so glad that I am still with this same woman!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Motivated by fear

One of the joys if being married to a primary school teacher is seeing the presents that she brings home from the class at the end of year: lots of boxes of chocolates!

This week Nicky and the kids have gone away for a week and left me guarding the stash...

In a moment of weakness I sat down and ate a whole box of Roses. I had only meant to test one of each flavour to see which I preferred.

I know that I can buy a replacement box for the shelf but I am worried my wife will spot where I have hidden them (the overhang hiding my trouser belt) so I decided to go for a run in the heat on Sunday afternoon.

Being scared of my wife is obviously a big motivating factor - I managed to take 2 minutes off my usual time.

We are all motivated by one of two things: love and fear.

I am so glad that I serve a God of love. He loves me so much and that motivates me to I love Him in return!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Well Church

Recently I met up with the very radical church planter and evangelist Clive Sharpe.

He and his wife moved into the heart of London, by faith, just over 2 years ago. As a through and through evangelist Clive has been incredible in seeing friends he has got to know join the Church and discover Jesus for themselves.

I am really looking forward to visiting them on Sunday 22nd July!


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Age is catching up with me....

3 weeks ago I was back at the surgery and the nurse gave me a second course of antibiotics.

Maybe she could sense that I am always hesitant to bother the medical profession, so as I am about to leave she threw me a warning remark ....'if that does not heal in 2 weeks you had better see the doctor -  it might be cancer.'

I genuinely feel healthy and played football last week as well as going for a run 3 times....but suddenly the words echo in my head and I feel vulnerable. (This should not be happening to me I believed the lie - we can pursue youth and delay the ageing process.)

I nervously approach the doctor today and inform him I have not still fully recovered.

He leans forward and looks concerned.
He decides to observe the area and asks a few questions.

He then informs me that I have an ingrown toe nail!

None of us stay young forever!

Any aches and pains you would like to share?
What have you worried about unnecessarily?

How are you making the most of your days for God?