Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Wrong number

I have been and continue to be very excited about Redeemer Church paying for an advert to go on the back of the Ealing Borough Magazine. This council organised publication runs to 137,000 copies and is distributed right across the area into homes, schools, offices etc.

I felt pleased with the opportunity to take an advertising space that many cannot miss. I know many people have seen the advert, it has generated conversations with local people when I am in the community, the church has felt excited as we reach out and visitors have come on a Sunday as a result.

One thing I was not expecting though was the number of phone calls I have received from Ealing Borough residents
There is often confusion when I answer 'Hello, Redeemer Church how can I help?'
People have wanted to report broken road sign
Several council residents have been asking for their blocked toilet to be cleared
After a brief pause the question is posed - 'Is that Ealing council?'

Generally after explaining that they have come through to a local church the tone changes to one of apology or respect - today one man said to me - 'Peace to you Father' - to which I replied 'and also to you' (I never knew the advert would lead to me issuing blessings by phone)

Upon reflection it makes me realise we all live life in a rush and do not read things through properly - so end up dialling wrong numbers.
However every conversation is a chance to introduce who we are and invite people along regardless - just a shame I can't help resolve the dilemmas they phoned for in the first place.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

War Horse in the West End

Nicky & I are off to the theatre to see War Horse tomorrow night - can't wait!

For years we have enjoyed time together watching a West End Show.

What do you do to build memories with friends?

Monday, 18 February 2013

A Challenge...

I have always thought if you knew you could do something - why try?

Surely it is better to have a go at something that is a bit of a stretch....a possibility..... needs hard work and effort ..... but will be very satisfying when done.

In the past I enjoyed the challenge of the London to Brighton Bike ride, climbing up and down the 3 highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours and running the London Marathon.

This year I have brought a bike and with Adam James dreamt about cycling to Paris and back - gulp!

Today Adam emailed to up the task: cycle London to Paris to Brussels (fortunately allowed to get the train home from Belgium)

The thought of 600km in a week in the bike seems daunting (though doesn't look too far on the map) - certainly need to do some more training - but can't not give it a go.

When was the last time you took on a challenge?
What new thing will you attempt this year?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Something to make a splash about

This Sunday Redeemer is due to hold it's first baptisms.....

I often feel like crying just at the thought of the day.

I have borrowed a pool that we plan to set up in the Town Hall.

I have spoken with Andy & Julia

We have invited guests to come and observe.

There is something special about people publicly declaring they follow Jesus.

Come and join us - bring your own tissues!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Get off the bus

It was my fault - we were planning on catching the bus to Wembley to watch England play Brazil - but I had left it a bit tight for time.

Josh and I are sat on the number 92 and it was going nowhere - the 6pm traffic was at a standstill.
As the time relentlessly marched on we are not moving and I am getting more and more agitated. (I know that walking up and down the bus looking out the window does not change anything - but I couldn't sit still.) I was panicking - we will miss the game.

My resourceful son Josh, looks up the route on his phone and declares - no worries it is only 5.9miles to the game - if we get off the bus we can run there. Without a second thought I have asked the driver to open the door and we are off.

The problems is: we have just eaten, I am wearing some boot that are a bit too big and we have several layers on as we expected to sit and watch a football game on a cold winters evening.

The good news is that we were not sick and one week on the blisters are beginning to heal. We crawled into our seats as they were singing the national anthem.

I am convinced that if we had stayed on the bus we would not have got to watch England beat Brazil 2-1!

Have you got to a place in life where you are no longer going forward?
Do you need to make a radical decision to get off the bus?
It may result in some temporary discomfort but I believe the results will be worth it

Saturday, 9 February 2013


My kids love playing computer games: I looked round the house and on top of the family computer, Josh's laptop and Isaac's iPad - we have a Wii,  and 2 PlayStation's.
It must be my age - I know what I want these games to do when I play but I having not committed enough time to practise so often get frustrated with the technology.

I really like playing board games and things like Rummikub and Tri-ominos. With and against real people.

I am loving the sounds bouncing round the house today. Josh has invited over several mates and they have spent all afternoon battling over the Board game Settlers of Catan.

I sometimes worry that with all the technology now available: sermons to download, Skype calls for discipleship and virtual conferences that we will end up with churches where real people never get to connect.

I love it every Sunday morning that Redeemer gathers at 10am to have time together over a tea or coffee and a chance to chat for 1/2 an hour before the meeting kicks off proper. Don't be boring come and join us at 10am!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A boys dream

As a lad I loved watching Brazil play football on the TV. The team had passion, flamboyancy and won. I appreciate they often let in lots of goals but they were very attack minded: if the opposition scored 3 goals they went out to get 4 - fantastic to watch!

Often when England were knocked out of a football competition I would switch my allegiance to cheer on the yellows.

It was therefore this boys dream to get 2 tickets to go and see England play Brazil at Wembley last night. (A great night out with my son Josh and possibly the only time in 20 years when I have not told my wife how much I spent on something!)

I felt it was a really good game - made even better by us winning 2-1.

I enjoyed the whole game so much that when I got home last night I sat up and watched the highlights.

I guess we all have dreams.... how much money we could have, exotic holiday destinations to visit and being slim yet eating everything in sight!

What is your dream? Or have you got too old and had too many hurts to still dare to believe for a better future?

I love to dream about the local church: a vibrant diverse community that love one another. A place where the hurt are cared for, the lonely find friends and the poor helped. A Church which makes a positive impact upon its local area, working with other local churches and supporting its members as they seek to make a massive difference at work. A church that prays for the nations and launches other churches locally and around the world.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Can I have a loan?

This must be one of the questions a parent hopes their child will never have to ask...
Josh recently mumbled it to me.

Ever since Josh has been going to Sunday school where they took a collection - around the age of 5 - we have been giving him pocket money so that he has to plan and budget - deciding what to give and what to spend.

For his 17th birthday we paid for 10 driving lessons and Josh had some savings that was to hopefully cover the rest of the expense. (I admit that learning to drive cost considerably more than when I was a lad....a 2 hour lesson each week is draining his bank account)

The real problem is how to answer the question:
It would be a shame to stop the driving lessons now
Would be wrong to charge interest ?
Will I ever get the money back?
Do I want to help him enter the dark world of debt?

I guess we all need a hand every so often. I have appreciated people helping me in the past.

Having said that I am still stuck for an answer so any wisdom please?

Friday, 1 February 2013

Who is this man?

I am sure that many of you will have read a John Ortberg book, listened to a podcast or seen him speak at a conference.
I am sure many of you can describe an impact his ministry has had upon your life - I loved the book 'If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat'.

I have just finished reading Ortberg's latest book - 'Who is this man?' Brilliant.

John traces the incredible impact that Jesus has made and continues to make upon the earth.... art, language, education, health care, morality....

I long for Jesus to radically impact my life, my family, my church, my city. I know like John the Baptist in the Bible, I must look for Jesus to increase and Pete to decrease.