Friday, 28 June 2013

Quiet Please

Yesterday Nicky & I were fortunate enough to have tickets to watch the tennis on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Amazing time: strawberries consumed whilst supporting Djokovic advance another round. Loved the atmosphere and the passion, impressed by the efficiency of the staff. The weather was hot and sunny so got slightly burnt, yet also rained so witnessed the roof moving into place.

The whole day made me proud to be British! I love this country and so enjoy living in London.

I pray that God will touch this nation again. I long for a 'quiet please' to be announced by the church so that people stop what they are doing, sit on the edge of their seat and are captivated by the move of God in this country.



Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Super-man

This one does not wear a cape and fly around the world - but he is remarkable.

Chris Sutton is 70 years young and still very energetic and involved in supporting Redeemer.

He is humble and willing to serve; he is open and willing to learn, he is eager and willing to give something a go; he is faithful and willing to support.

Chris is also wise and tenacious and is involved in leading the 40 churches that want to see Ealing Food Bank started.

I am so glad that he & Tricia are part of Redeemer and I hope that when Nicky & I are their age we will be as active in the church as they are.


Monday, 24 June 2013

Mistaken Identity


Last Monday morning I was shocked to receive a phone call from the Foreign Office, asking me details about the church! Several questions later they ended the call and I was left wondering - did I dream this or did it really happen?


The following day I received an email and phone call from the South African High Commission, saying they had an important guest visiting the UK who would like to attend Redeemer the next  Sunday morning.

I agreed to arrange a delegation to greet the distinguished person and ensure they were well cared for during the time with us. Some in the church were encouraging me to preach in a white suit.
Apparently Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is a committed Christian and likes to attend church even when travelling.

I have to admit I was surprised that he had heard of our church - but we do like to welcome all.

Sadly I received an email late Saturday night to admit the mix up - obviously when he arrived in London the Chief Justice had wanted to attend another place of worship.

We actually had a really great time on Sunday, are always ready to welcome whoever would like to visit and trust we will welcome many varied folk in the future.   

Friday, 21 June 2013

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Too busy to be ill

I felt tired at the cinema on Fathers Day as I watched "Man of Steel'.... but that still left me unprepared for how I felt when I woke up on Monday....

I spent the whole morning on the toilet exploding either end with diarrhoea and being sick (I will say no more!)

I was in bed hot & cold, did not eat all day and feeling sorry for myself

On Tuesday I decided to take a day off sick and sleep in to recover and gain some strength by start eating again.

Just after 7am I was woken by my wife asking which item to put into which recycle container as the dustmen were approaching... I graciously answered.
At 8pm I was awoken again - the family had a doctors appointment and the Tesco shop was being delivered between 8and 9am - could I get up and wait to answer the door.
After lunch time I decided to have a sleep only to find the bed had been stripped and the covers and sheets washed.

I realised the house is a busy place and there is no time to be ill. I am in a quiet office today.

Do you ever look at your life and think this is too busy? What changes are you going to make?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Doors

I have used them countless times and never appreciated them - until they stop working.

Over time the back door of our house has rotted so much that it lets in a major draught and the damp is prising the skirting board off the wall. I have had a builder round and a replacement is being found, ordered and will be fitted:)

Just when I thought the 'wood in the hole' problem was fixed our front door has started playing up. I went to work the other morning and the kids came down to find the door swinging, welcoming in and and all who might be passing. One night this week I am chatting with a friend when a neighbour pops over and rings the door bell - 'sorry to bother you they say, but I noticed that your front door is wide open'. 
Not sure what the problem is but locking it keeps it shut until we can get it fixed.

We all use doors everyday - we could not live without them. They are designed to open the way to good things and keep out the bad.

I believe that we have doors into our life: some things we look at are helpful and others are not, some places we go do us good and other places do not, some words we hear build us up and others do not.

Have you invested any time maintaining the doors in your life recently?


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Hanwell Carnival

Many of you will have heard of the world renown, London based, Nottinghill Carnival: colour, fun, energy, passion and enjoyment are just some of the words I would used to describe the event when I went.

Well I have discovered the second largest carnival in London will be happening this weekend, where I live, in Hanwell! This local event is also the oldest London Carnival - first taking place in 1898. It is totally arranged by volunteers who invest countless hours as a team wanting to sustain and build something that will impact the local community & beyond.

Here is a picture of the 'Red Barrows' who performed at the Carnival in 2011



If you are free this Saturday between 12 and 6pm then why not come along and join in the fun?!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

McChurch

Last week I took part in my twice annual ritual - I ate at McDonald's. I have to be honest I only attended because everywhere else was closed.

I felt more committed than those seated in their car; ordering their meat free meals and light drinks to takeaway without bothering to enter the building and mix with the rest of us.
I felt less committed than the family in front that literally ordered 3 carrier bags full.

Having got what I wanted, I sat with a friend and avoided all eye contact with anyone else dining there - I am from London.

It can feel more of a kids place - with happy meals, bright coloured areas and endless tomato sauce.

I rushed the 'meal' and quickly left: enjoyed the flavours at the time, hoping it would not give me indigestion and recognising I would probably be hungry again in half an hour.

I guess I will go again this year - but it would not be my first choice.

Why is is that so many Christians can approach church like I approach MacDonald's?

For believers the church is not meant to be the last resort, attend twice a year. It is not meant to be a drive through experience isolated from others where everyone orders their own 'light worship' and 'sugar free sermon'.

I am so glad to be part of Redeemer - a vibrant growing community, where people are prepared to serve and give rather than just take. (I guess you could say - I'm loving it!)
I feel disappointed I cannot eat with the church everyday - and love it when we gather at Costa on Wednesday night and Ealing Town Hall on Sunday mornings!

How do you approach church?