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!