Sunday, 28 July 2013

Friends.

Last night our family went to a fancy dress party.
Anyone who knows my daughter knows she loves the TV programme Friends.
I love my family and see them as my best friends so the theme worked well.


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Heroes!

Some people are truly amazing and a real blessing from God in your life.... Emmanuel & Sandra are that for me!

I 1st came across them a year ago when they phoned to ask details about the church as they had recently moved into the area.

One year on and I am staggered by their energy & commitment to Redeemer. This weekend they have both given 2 days (including taking a day off work) to help distribute leaflets around Southall & Greenford.

They willingly serve on Sundays, lead a small mid-week group and are faithful and faith filled radical church folk.

I love the fact that I get to build a church with such wonderful people!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Forgiveness

One story this week has really inspired me: Maureen Greaves the wife of the organist who was killed on his way to lay in church last year on Christmas Eve. By the sounds of it a good man - who had recently helped set up the local food bank and did much in his life to help others, was brutally killed just for being in the wrong place.

This week 2 men were convicted of his murder.

Maureen, a committed Christian, was reported to have said:
"It seems so easy to say I've forgiven them, but it's probably one of the hardest things in my life that I've had to do and yet having done it and repeatedly seeking to do it, I've found I've benefited."

I am so aware of the amazing forgiveness God has showed me - my guilt has been taken away - I daily need to radically choose like Maureen to forgive others.

I believe it was Nelson Mandela who said 'Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for it to kill your enemy.'

I choose to forgive....

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Newday!

My 3 teenage kids (& I) love Newday.

My oldest son Josh, is still wearing his wristband from last year.

As I look back I am so grateful for the teaching, the fun, the friendship, the vision & the impact.

I have lost count of how many years that we have been - but I do know that we head off to Norfolk for this years event in one weeks time!

Full of faith I have already paid for this years CD and we have not yet sung a note...

I look forward to another occasion with faith excited about what God will do in mine and my kids lives!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Heatwave

I love the sunshine:)

In the UK we are now in the longest prolonged heatwave since 2006. (For the detailed folk - a heat wave is 5 degrees above the average temperature for 5 consecutive days - I think)

It has been fascinating to watch people cope with the recent warm weather:
Londoners are using an additional 15% water
There are twice as many grass fires as normal in London.
Schools are preventing children playing outside when the temperature gets above 30 degrees.

Is it really that hot?
When I lived in Australia we could have 3 days in a week over 40 degrees. (I know they are more prepared!)
Apart from the fact we all like to talk about the weather - I think it has more to do with how we cope with the unfamiliar (When I was down under people did not run in the rain!)

Generally we like to be in control, know what is going to happen; we feel comfortable when things are familiar.

I guess that is why I admire Christians - it is a lifestyle of adventure in the unknown - trusting everything to God. I am privileged to be with some extra radical followers of Jesus who are prepared to see a new church started in Ealing - why not come and visit?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Crazy Men

On Sunday afternoon, straight after church, I raced to Alexandra Palace in North London for the Red Bull Soapbox Challenge.

It was a great time with Josh and Roger, my Father-in-law, as we watched team after team attempt to entertain the crowd with their speed, creativity and showmanship. Grown men appeared to take huge risks to travel the 400m from the top to bottom of the slope, taking in the various obstacles, 2 of which were  - 'Please Mind the Gap' and the "Apples & Pears'

The entrant that I vividly remember was the toilet & bath! The guy who laid in the bath was protected, but the one balanced on the toilet clung on for dear life!


What makes grown men invest time and energy in such pursuits?

When was the last time you attempted something regardless of the risk?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

so different.....



Nicky & I are about to celebrate our 21st Wedding Anniversary..... this video would have been so helpful 22 years ago!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Sweet 16

I was always really keen to have a daughter and am so proud of my girl!

I know that I will get in trouble for putting her photo on my blog..... but today she is 16 and I want everyone to see what a wonderful girl I have!

HAPY BIRTHDAY LOIS!!!!


Friday, 5 July 2013

Lock Cutter Caught

Under the contentious 'stop and search powers' a white youth was caught by the police in Acton on Wednesday afternoon (the same day my bike was stolen) with bolt cutters approaching the bike stands!

The young man's story was that he had borrowed a bike from his father and after cycling around had carefully used 2 locks (as both wheels were quick release wheels) to secure the racer to the stand.

When he and his friends returned to get the bike the key broke in the lock. The local bike shop was unwilling to intervene so this lad had visited his school where the caretakers had lent him some bolt cutters.

It was at this point the Police found him. They believed his story but were unable to free the bike using the old tools borrowed but fortunately a local builder passed by and got to work cutting through both bike locks with a hacksaw.

Honestly - I am not making this stuff up (who would have believed it!)

The Youth is my son!

So the bike saga continues: on Wednesday not only did I loose my bike but I have had 3 bike locks cut in one afternoon!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Stolen Bike

I have used a bike for work, nearly all the time, for the past 20 years. I find it keeps me fit, is cheap and environmentally friendly!

Today I cycled along to Greenford and locked my 3 year old Specialised Mountain Bike to a lamppost - in a visible obvious place, so anyone passing by could notice it and keep an eye on it.

Tragically when I returned to the spot 3 hours later I was greeted by a cut lock and no bike:(


I had to walk home. (note to self - carry oyster card or take money for emergency bus fare in future)

I have phoned the police and they will issue me a crime reference number within the next 24 hours - but they are fairly confident I will not see my bike again.

I am grateful that I am not hurt and recognise that it is only a material possession that can be replaced. I still feel gutted: the kids brought me the mudguards for my birthday, I used to have insurance but think I stopped it to try and save money - D'OH!

It does remind me that we live in a world where everything is not right (I totally understand people have much worse situations than I do) and that is another reason why I plan to be back out leafleting tomorrow. The church is here to present Jesus - the solution to our broken relationships with God and each other.

I believe that when the church grows, society should be improved: we are called to be salt and light - to make a difference.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Weddings - like buses!

Standing at the bus stop - you can wait a while (3 or 4 minutes in London) and then 2 buses come along together.

Nicky & I attended 2 wedding this weekend!

I know that my wife, as a teacher is in a busy report writing season, but I did think buying the new dress on the way to the first wedding (we then had to then stop off somewhere so she could get changed) was cutting it a bit fine.
Mind you we got caught in traffic on the second day and scraped in after the due start of the service - fortunately for us the bride was 1/2 hour late arriving so spared our blushes!

All said and done great to celebrate with 2 wonderful couples this weekend!

Weddings are a great occasions to eat a nice meal, catch up with family  friends and reflect back on the wonderful almost 21 years Nicky & I have been married.

Weddings also inspire me because the Bible describes the Church like a Bride getting herself ready for the wedding to Jesus: we are excited about His return, when we will come shouting and excited about sweeping us away to be with Him forever!

Are you prepared and ready for that day? Don't leave it to the last minute...