Friday, 30 March 2012

Last Minute Panic

Life can feel fast and full on all the time - but sometimes we try and attempt 'supersonic living':

I have a friend approaching year end who has worked very late every night this week
I have a son who is sitting his GCSE's this year and thinks revising at Easter is too early
I am taking a weeks holiday and have a way too long to-do list for today
How many of you are still packing the suitcase when you should have left for the airport?

We have many industries ready to help those stretched and have not been able to get everything done in advance: last minute.com covers holidays, theatre, weekends away.... you name it, they will do it.

Yet there is so much wisdom regarding planning in advance - saving the stress, making sure you achieve what is really important and enjoying the journey with others along the way.

What attitude do you have towards God?

Last minute panic: I will live my life how I want and then might pray for help when I am old and facing death?

Do you need to plan in advance?

Has gathering with the church been something that has been squeezed out of your life?
Why not make a fresh start at Redeemer?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What are you talking about?

Until I answered the door today I had forgotten that we were due a delivery.

As the guy unloaded the parcel from the lorry and flicked through the paperwork he just started chatting to me about running (I presume He thought I look a finely toned man ...but it could have been the fact that I had just slipped on my running shoes to pop outside!)

I quickly discovered that the delivery man had recently completed a half marathon at Silverstone, that he had applied for the London Marathon for the last 5 years but had not been able to attain a place. He asked me where I ran and yes I did slip in that 4 years ago I completed the London marathon; I disclosed to him my finishing time but I won't boar you with the rest of the details of our conversation.

After I got back indoors the whole incident got me thinking:

What do I naturally talk about?
How good am I at engaging others in discussion?
Do I ask enough questions of people when chatting?

I would so love to be known personally and to lead a church where people naturally talk about Jesus.

Sadly the delivered item was wrong - so I can look forward to chatting to the guy again when he comes to collect.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Still True

I think I first heard and wept listening to this recording years ago....still gets me right in the heart.

Take a moment to think about Jesus in the lead up to Easter


Friday, 23 March 2012

Just Do it!

The Nike slogan 'Just do it' has been inspirational for many, not just in sport but also as a motto for life.

Yet in many places life now offers so many choices that it slows us down and can cause confusion.

I can pop to the shop to buy a loaf of bread and then find a whole isle - brown bread, white bread, 50/50, seeded bread, gluten free... the list goes on. To make the decision even harder there are a variety of offers from the basic to the finest range, should I opt for the buy 1 get 1 free promotion, 2 for £2 etc. Often buying a loaf of bread, a job that I think should take me 1 minute, results in a lack of confidence and a phone call to Nicky requesting help.

This week I read about sports people that suffer from YIPS. Eric Bristow the dart champion of the 1980's admits to having suffered, as does Bernhard Langer the golfer and Stephen Hendry the snooker player. It has been suggested that this is the reason why Steve Hooker the Olympic Pole Vaulting champion will not be competing in London this year.
Basically the sports person has a hesitation when trying to perform a routine skill and this stops a high level performance. Although it manifest physically it is thought to be rooted psychologically: The brain is telling the person this action is more important than it really is and so they falter.

I sometimes think that this is a condition Christians can suffer from. We are aware that we have such wonderful news offering people forgiveness from their guilt and a personal relationship with Jesus; we want to share this with everyone in the world but then we stutter before we start.

There can be so many wonderful opportunities but which one do we choose?

I want to make a plug for church planting! I believe that every Christian should be involved in at least one church plant in their life. You may have thought about it, read a book on it, attended a conference, or be following a church planter on twitter. My advice is 'Just do it'

If you do not know where - come join us at Redeemer!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

What do you take for granted?

As I grew up I saw my grandparents ever other weekend.... under pressure from my mother! As a child and teenager you would rather be out with your mates or watching TV.

When I moved to Australia in 2010 I thought I would never see my Grandfather alive again

Now that I am back in England I so appreciate being able to visit my family. Recently I took my oldest son Josh and we caught up with his great grandfather, along with his granddad. Here is photographic evidence of the 4 generations.
I am now grateful for all the good that has been passed down through my family: hard working, faithful and a desire to serve God among others.

What is it that you take for granted?

When did you last tell your family that you loved them?

As a Christian I want to be so thankful everyday for all that Jesus did for me. As we approach another Easter I am determined not to take for granted that Jesus died for what I have done wrong and that I am forgiven and accepted due to what he did right!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Godfirst

Had another great weekend visiting friends that Nicky & I have known for 20 years.

Howard & Naomi Kellett moved to Cheltenham with their 3 teenagers 2 1/2 years ago to plant a church called Godfirst.

They have faithfully loved and gathered people. I know that many many folk have been fed in their home and spent time with the family. Howard & Naomi have enthusiastically and consistently poured themselves into people.

It was so exciting to gather with the church this morning and see how the church is growing and thriving. Clear signs lead you to a great meeting place, there was a buzzing time of worship and a thoroughly thought provoking preach. Godfirst people are friendly and the cookies are delicious!

The Kellett's have already planted a great church in Manchester, so it is wonderful seeing them do it for a second time: as Nicky and I are gathering folk in preparation for our second church plant: Redeemer

Friday, 16 March 2012

What you listening to?

I am not training for any race but I do try and run / jog 3 times each week because I enjoy eating (I am a certified crisp-o-holic)!

Occasionally I just go with my thoughts but these are not always positive and as an activist I prefer listening to something on my iPod (I have had to stop myself listing all podacst I have struggled through this year....numbers are not as important as what I learn from them)

I have benefited from Mark Driscoll and C J Mahaney amongst others. I find the way they communicate very powerful and engaging. On several recent trips beside the canal I have been moved to tears by what I have been listening to: some dog walkers must think stop inflicting so much pain on yourself, is the exercise really worth it? (I have always been an emotional guy so this is not a mid-life crisis!)

Having said that, this week I have chosen to listen to music whilst pounding around the streets. I have been aware that when the song 'O Happy day' comes on I am almost dancing along (at the very minimum a hop skip and a jump). The other benefit I have observed is that I am completing the route 2 minutes faster - so I must be picking up speed!

Seriously I believe what you listen to affects your performance. So many things in life can shout 'you are not quite good enough', 'you are not fast enough', ' you are not pretty enough', 'you are not successful enough'.
That's why I love listening to what God say about me in the Bible: that I am loved, His child, forgiven and accepted. I am sure listening to Him in life helps me skip along better

What about you - who have you been listening to lately?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Newday


Despite having been several times before I still get so excited about Newday!
Camping together with thousands of others, mostly teenagers, is a brilliant week.

Each year Norfolk show ground is converted into this creative exciting arena where my kids have fun with mates, catch up with old friends and encounter God powerfully.
Literally hundreds of young people pour into the local towns and serve on local church events and clearing overgrown gardens for those not able.

If you have been before I am sure you are already booked in!
If you have never been you would be most welcome - take a look at the web site and register today!

Roll on 13th August. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Geocaching

On Saturday my 3 kids, Nicky and I, along with my father, went for our first ever geocaching.

We found the clues on the Geocaching website and then set out to see if we could find the treasure: a journey together attempting to pool our family resolve and resources to discover the hidden pot. Nicky was so excited that when we got close she sprinted across the field to see if she could get there before the kids!

I am proud to announce that we found the spot (admittedly we did use my Fathers GPS device - a toy only a retired man can afford so next time I will have to do without it).

A fantastic trip - recommend to all - and we will be doing others in the future!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Rejection!

Today I applied for an iPhone from T-Mobile and they rejected me!
I was not given the specific reason but was told that it was related to my credit rating. I now realise that having had 5 addresses in the last 18months, one of which was in Australia, that I must look like a well dodgy character.

I was also rejected for an application last year.
Having returned to the UK and finding myself out of work for the first time ever I applied by phone and had an interview at the Job Centre to try and gain Job Seekers Allowance - but was turned down.

I am not trying to turn this into a pity party... though all well wishers are appreciated.
It makes me aware that there must be lots of people who feel rejection - maybe everyone has experienced it in one way or another:
Turned down on a date
Overlooked for promotion
Dropped by a team used to play for
Made redundant
Snubbed by friends over a past mistake
Never felt pretty enough
Rejection makes you feel small and isolated.

I am so glad that Jesus when He walked this earth was welcoming and accepting: He mixed with all sorts and crowds were attracted to him.
I believe the church is here to embrace and care for the lonely and hurting.

I so want Redeemer to be a church where all are welcomed!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Retirement Age Rise

Some have suggested that Daniel was approx 80years young and still actively serving God when he was thrown into the lions den

We think that Caleb was an octogenarian when he fought the battle for the hill country.

We are planning to help John Jackson celebrate his 80th birthday later this year!

I love the fact that John has signed up to be involved in church planting. He and Cathy live in Northolt part of the London borough of Ealing and are up for the adventure of establishing Redeemer.

Whatever your age you are welcome to come and join us!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

King's Church

Redeemer is gathering folk on a Wednesday night and on Sunday mornings we have been going to Kings Church Harrow.

Dave Straughton and the church there have been fantastic in their support for the church plant to Ealing.

One Sunday morning Dave announced what we are doing and invited anyone to join us.

The Church have invited us to attend their monthly prayer meeting in March where they will spend some of the evening praying for us.

Kings Church have pledged to give £200 per month to support Redeemer.

They are hoping to buy a building for all midweek activities and Redeemer have been offered to have an office there.

We are bowled over by their generosity and support.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Team Together!

At the moment Redeemer is one community that meets together on Wednesday nights to encounter God and looks to support each other in life throughout the week.
I like the idea of community, the bringing together of each persons gift for the benefit of others.

In my lounge is huddled a diverse bunch - married & single, young & old, employed & retired, educated & learning, black & white.
The focus is not about what we get but what we give... and yet when we do that, we all seem to receive as well!

All relationships take time - we text each other, eat together, go for ice creams have fun ten pin bowling.
The more time we invest in each other the deeper we go and the better the community gets.

I love the fact that I get to do life and build a church with friends.

Do you want to come and join the team?