Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Nations

I love living in Ealing - it is so diverse - there are 172 nationalities that reside here!

I so enjoy that Redeemer is made up from people from around the world:)

On Sunday we celebrated together this with a  wonderful meeting.... singing and praying in many different languages. We also got to tuck into food from a variety of cultures.

Although we are still a very young church it has been great already to commit money to Amsterdam, Ukraine and Turkey. We have also had a family move from us to join the church plant in Stockholm.
We look forward to impacting other nations in the future.

Whoever you are, wherever you are from - you are welcome to come and join us - Ealing Town Hall 10:30am.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

It gets better and better

I have several friends who are expecting their first child..... I look back with such fond memories of becoming a dad.

I remember creeping into Josh's bedroom whilst he was sleeping and picking him up for a cuddle. I would just sit there and snuggle up to the amazing bundle of my son. Sometimes I would be reduced to tears at the joy and privilege of being a Father. Happy Days!

To all the new parents out there I would like to say - it gets Better & Better!

My oldest boy is now 18 and there is so much more that we can experience together. I love us having lunch as both at home during the day, I love all his energy & support for the church. Just this month Josh & I have ventured out to Ealing Beer Festival, Ealing Comedy night and the cinema to see Planet of the Apes. 

Who knows what else we will enjoy together in the future!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Leadership Gold

Over the years I have benefitted so much from the wisdom and teaching of John Maxwell.

I have read more than a dozen of his books, watch his daily Word for the Day and attended his Million Leaders mandate course.... all brilliant!

He is a remarkable man who appears genuinely interested in people and helping everyone to win.

At present I am reading his book: Leadership Gold and am worried that I will wear my pencil out before I finish - there is so much helpful material that I underline - on every page! If you are a leader - and everyone is - then I encourage you to read the book.

I am also booked into a day in October where Maxwell will be speaking via a live link - why not come along?
L2 - Learn - Lead

Friday, 11 July 2014

Its good to celebrate!

I love the idea: Celebrate what you want to see more of!
It is infectious and inspiring to be around folk who are thankful and grateful. I notice several on face book who are challenging themselves to share at least 3 things each day that they are positive about.

I really appreciate the way that Twyford have helped my son to celebrate completing sixth form and the start of the next chapter of his life: post school. A black tie event, at a really nice West London hotel, where the staff and students could mix over great food and drinks.  A chance to  remember the good times and wish each other well for the future.


When I was a teenager all we did was crank up the ghetto blaster and try and shuffle to Kool & the Gang - 'Celebrate Good Times'.

I definitely think things are changing for the better!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Tour De France

One of the reasons I enjoy being in London is that so many things happen here!

Yesterday I was up on the streets of the capital to cheer on the Tour de France.

It was brilliant to be with Adam James and a crowd of others. Lets be honest just Adams packed lunch made the event worthwhile: he had a cool box crammed with cheese, ham, red wine, sweets, bread..... certainly put my meal deal from Sainsbury's in the shade.

The carnival that preceded the cyclists was fun and fast..... Mark Sibuns got smacked round the head by a pack of Haribo's! Adam won the most... hat, water, cycle band..... he has attended these events before and knows where to stand.

The peloton flew by us in seconds even though we had been waiting for hours but it was all well worth it:)

So love living in the city!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Work Experience

My son Isaac is 1/2 way through a 2 week stint of work experience at an Investment Bank in the City.

As a year 10 school pupil he is discovering the real world:
The daily commute to Liverpool Street - he can tell me all the news each evening after digesting the Metro.
The importance of tools - he had no computer the first day but now has 2 screens on his desk.
The need to refuel - he gets back starving and we have to be sat down eating our dinner within 10 minutes of his arrival home.
The essential role of team work - as they all went out for a 2 hour lunch on Friday.

Isaac has thrown himself into the working world - even phoned me on Monday to say he would be late home - as we was going out for a drinks with the others from the office - to attend a colleagues leaving do! I love his commitment - whatever you do this week - go for it 100%!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

How the story ends...


OK - so I started blogging about my 100km challenge yesterday and never told you if I finished.... a ploy to get you back:)

I was delighted to run to 75km.... until the path was so muddy and full of walkers ... that I had to walk myself for approx 1km. After a cup of tea and banana I managed to run to the 90km rest stop.

I ended up walking 3 of the last 10km.... it was tough getting to the 100km mark to realise that the race continued for another 1.5km:(

I did jog round the corner when I saw the finish line.

I was given a bottle of champagne for being the 1st runner to complete the course.... my official time was 9hours and 48minutes!!
I waited almost and hour to be picked up and the next runner had not crossed the line..... why am I still so competitive???
Sadly the photographer had still not arrived by the time I left and my phone battery had died so there are no pictures..... but I have a medal and sore legs to prove I did it!!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Under Prepared....


Last Saturday morning Nicky dropped me off in Paddington at 6:20am so I could find my way to the start of the Grand Union Challenge

3 months ago when I signed up it seemed like a good idea but when I arrived I felt I was severely under prepared. The guy I tried to casually chat to as we were attaching our race numbers, informed me that he had done 3 marathons in 3 days to get ready for this epic adventure. He shook his head bemused when I told him that I had done 2 park runs in January! I realised everyone else seemed to have a bag, wet weather gear, vaseline..... I had 4 bottles attached to my belt and 2 mar bars in my pocket!

Doubts rose up.... why was I at the start line rather than with my wife - who had tickets for Centre Court at Wimbledon?!

I was beginning to wish that I had spent longer getting ready
I realised I should have done other races to get me fit
I should have brought more expensive gear!

419 people were attempting to cover the 100km that day..... I think 418 may have been better prepared than me!

What have you attempted that you felt under prepared for?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Steve Tibbert

We are so looking forward to welcoming Steve & Deb Tibbert to Redeemer, this Sunday!

Steve will be preaching at Ealing Town Hall and we want to hear all that God will speak through him. On top of that,  I know Nicky & I, will so value and appreciate the time that we share with this amazing couple.

Steve Tibbert is one of the main reasons I am still in full time Christian ministry and a major influence behind Redeemer London being started. When Nicky & I, went through a very tough time 3 years ago, Steve & Deb, listened, loved and believed in us both - words cannot convey the depth of my gratitude. Steve has gently, faithfully, patiently supported and served us.

I know that Steve has so many others things that he could be doing - he leads a big church - Kings London, and serves the kingdom in a variety of others way -  which makes the energy and commitment even more impressive!

Steve & Deb Tibbert - THANK YOU!!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Countdown

Tension is often built within a film when the switch is flicked, the countdown begun and there being no way to stop the massive bomb exploding!

This week feels a bit like that for me.....

On Saturday I am attempting a 100km run.... it seemed a good idea when I signed up! I have trained for almost 3 months and I have rested when injured. I have started to pack my bag and I have 3 short runs left this week.

I am running for Ealing foodbank and there is still time to sponsor me!

6 more sleeps:0)

I have always thought there is no point attempting something you know you can do.... life is short and you want to tackle a challenge you are not certain you can achieve.

Theodore Roosevelt
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat

My aim is to finish. I hope to post next Sunday and let you know how I got on.

What are you looking forward to? What will you attempt, unsure of success but prepared to give it a go?

Friday, 20 June 2014

London Royal Opera House

There is so much to do and see in London..... I have lived here for years and still am experiencing lots of new events and occasions.

I have attended my first show at the Royal Opera House - amazing!

It got off to a great start when the Orchestra Timpani player met me at the stage door and gave me a tour of the building.  Incredible to actually visit the orchestra pit and look up and out at the magnificent building. The sheer size,  splendour and feel of the place was breath taking.


I watched a modern version of Manon Lescaut: unbelievable that the lead singers were not amplified and yet you can clearly hear them above the amazing sound of the orchestra. I had never appreciated how much acting there is in Opera.... and that people still sing whilst contorted in such positions!

Now I am hoping to visit again and see a ballet!

When was the last time you tried something new? How did it go?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Force Fed

First thing Monday morning and I am sat at home kitted up for a run and making myself consume a Mars bar:(

2 months ago when I started training for the ultra-marathon I was so excited when I opted for chocolate as a source of fuel for taking on extra calories in preparation for long distance running:)

I am part of the generation that grew up on the slogan 'A mars a day helps you work rest & play!
'

Don't get me wrong I still love chocolate.... but you can loose the joy when you have to eat it..... when you are eating it all the time (I still cannot believe I am thinking this!)

What is it that you once enjoyed but now have had to do so often that it has lost its joy?

Friday, 13 June 2014

Losing my bottle

I have only 2 weeks now until I attempt my 100km run.... gulp!

I am trying not to cram in too many miles, just keep healthy and ready for the day. On each occasion I pull on my trainers, I now wear the kit I will use on Saturday 28th June. I am also filling and taking a water bottle in a running belt. I aim to get used to everything ready for the 7:20am start I have been assigned on the day.

Yet last night things did not go as planned:(

The drink bottle kept bouncing up and working its way out of the holder. I kept pushing it back into place but twice it managed to escape and landed on the towpath beside the canal - I kept losing my bottle! (I even had to run back and find it on one occasion)

In life many of us can make great plans, and put in lots of practise but it can be too easy at the last minute for us to 'lose our bottle' and stop.
Whatever you are doing - keep going! Press on! Don't quit!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Healthy City Living

Yesterday was another 1st for me - I went to visit a physio.

I have had a pain in my left leg that has prevented me from running. For a week I rested, iced, and even used a foam roller morning and night. Yet when I recently went for a light run the pain was still there so I caved in to my wife's demands and booked a physio appointment.

Always the way - I managed to go for a 15 mile run yesterday morning with no pain - but in order to avoid the cancellation fee I kept the appointment.

The friendly lady was surprised at the long distances that I have been running around London's streets in preparation for my ultra marathon on Saturday 28th June. Yet after some questions and examination it appears the cause of the stiffness was aggravated by the 4 days I was camping in the countryside and wearing flip flops around a muddy field!


I now declare that city living is healthier than the countryside - so if you want a good life move to London!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Chav Christianity

I have often believed that one of the biggest challenges facing the church in the UK is how we can be diverse enough to include people not only from all nations but also have folk from every class.

Following David Devenish's public endorsement I have purchased and read Darren Edwards book 'Chav Christianity'.

It is so helpful! Darren is obviously full on for God and honest.

In the book Darren tackles a variety of issues from Justice, etiquette, lifestyle, authenticity and worship. He is challenging and thought provoking.

You realise how much a book has impacted you by how much you remember and how often you apply it afterwards. I feel as if I have drawn ideas from this book into most conversations that I have had since.

Well worth a read!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

John Wesley

On Monday this week I had the joy of visiting the Wesley Chapel in London, with Evan Rogers!

The Church building was established by John Wesley towards the end of his life. Services were held every morning at 5am. I loved seeing the way the pews had been developed so that more seats could be added to the end of the rows to enable the church building to be rammed with people.

It was incredible to learn that at that time the Methodist's owned 4 ships that sailed the world spreading the good news about Jesus. So wonderful to discover that John was so concerned about the poor living local to him that he developed the first free pharmacy in London.

I found it fascinating to watch the video describing the radical life of John Wesley. He was so committed to learning that he read whilst riding a horse. Later in life he developed the ability to write whilst travelling by a horse drawn carriage. He woke every morning at 4am to spend time with God and went to bed every night at 9pm!

I hope that the visit did not just enlighten me for a day but will bear fruit in my life! I would love to be known as a guy who cares for the poor, builds thriving local churches, reaches out to those who do not know the good news of Jesus and makes the most of the time God gives me!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Shin Splints!

When pushing to achieve it is tempting to press right up to the edge and occasionally go too far!

After a 15 mile run on Wednesday I am suffering from painful shin splints.


I limped around Wednesday evening and have spent some time with frozen runner beans (still in the packet) balanced on my left leg. I am resting and getting cross.

I know I must listen to my body - but I have now missed 2 runs from my schedule and am wondering when I will be back to running at all:(

I have never been one to sit and watch from the sidelines.

Biblically I appreciate the importance of a day of rest..... a chance to pause and realise that we are not indispensable, instead we are to trust our Father in heaven!

Still, please pray that I recover - quickly!!!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Evan Rogers

I am thrilled and excited about this coming weekend when we have Evan Rogers coming to be with Redeemer Church London!

Evan is a passionate, international worship leader who I believe will impart many great things that we will benefit from and grow in over the coming weeks, months & years!

He is staying at our house, having a session with the musicians, speaking on Sunday and leading a time of worship... as well as meeting with the worship leaders. (we like to get our moneys worth:))

If you are in London - feel free to come and join us on Sunday 1st June at Ealing Town hall 10:30am.


Friday, 23 May 2014

New Season

I know it is a sign that I am getting old..... but life does seems to be going fast..... and there are always an end of one stage and the start of another....

This week my oldest son has finished school (just got to go back and sit his A levels)

We also went to the Polling Station on Thursday as he cast his first vote. (I am impressed by his maturity: on the way he knew who he was going to vote for and I was still trying to make up my mind!)

This new season means I will soon have my child benefit for him stopped.

This new season means an end to free prescriptions and dental treatment.

This new season means he will no longer get given an oyster card from Boris.

This new season means I can soon start to charge him rent!!

For many 'change is considered loss' but I love each new season and look forward to the memories and experiences we will share together as Father & Son.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Hitting the Wall

Yesterday as part of the preparations for  my June ultra-marathon (golly that is next month!) I tried to do a long run in the heat...... not a good idea:(
Despite thinking that I had eaten and drunk plenty before kicking off, my body told me otherwise: I slowed down and dreamt of phoning Nicky to pick me up.

In the end I managed to find a cafe that generously  gave me a free drink of water; whilst the lady wasn't looking I even slipped behind the counter and grabbed a second.

I shuffled home .... I am not expecting sympathy I know this is self inflicted.... but my good wife was concerned. (Mind you I still and to run my own bath)

I was fine by the evening and we even went out for dinner:)

Did make me think..... sometimes we try and keep running through life, relentless pace, no time for rest, relaxation and enjoyment. We cut back on the hours we allow ourselves to sleep and we miss our time with God each day. Physically, emotionally and spiritually people end up hitting the wall.

I learnt yesterday that it is vital to stop and take on water. Are you caring for yourself in life so that you can keep going for the long haul?

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Joy

It was Isaac's birthday on Wednesday and as he was off "revising" we enjoyed chocolate bars at 11 o'clock!

Despite it being his special day - I managed to win a free chocolate bar with my confectionery wrapper:) (Looking back I should have offered him the prize....d'oh)

After signing up on line I have printed out the A4 coupon - as in colour it may have cost more than the winnings. I am looking forward to claiming my reward and am sure the chocolate will taste even better knowing that it is free: it is Cadburys!

Having said all that I am not sure I would describe my feelings as 'Joyful Jubilation's!'

In a world where 200 school girls are dragged from their school and where a woman is condemned to be killed because she married a Christian, chocolate is a pleasant moment, but pure joy would be to see justice done and freedom won in these horrible situations.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Royal Visit

I have always enjoyed learning about the history of the place where I live and am fascinated by some things I have discovered about the past of Hanwell.

I know that one of the last Isambard Brunel's incredible feat of engineering is local: the three bridges - a road, over a canal, over a railway line!

I have also found out that one of Brunel's first building projects is in the area: Hanwell Viaduct. Apparently Queen Victoria so liked  the view from the train, that when travelling across this stretch of railway line, the driver was instructed to stop the locomotive so her highness could admire the scenery (that was before Ealing Hospital was built!)


Amazing to know that a Royal wanted to see Ealing.
I still believe that the One who reigns longs to visit the place: The King of Kings delights to meet His people at Ealing Town Hall each Sunday morning!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Dr Neil

As a church we have committed to running our 1st Freedom in Christ Course.

I am pleased to have booked a venue for 13 Wednesday nights in Ealing. (Haven Green Baptist Church)

I am delighted that all the ordered materials are at my house, ready & waiting.

I am thrilled that I have speakers lined up for every evening.

I found the recent days training at City Temple Church in London very helpful.

I have so benefited from reading through the book 'Discipleship Counselling' by Dr Neil T Anderson. I'll be honest and say I struggled to get into it when I began but now am finding such helpful nuggets in every chapter. I am very grateful to Neil Anderson and the wonderful material he has produced!

There is still time to book in - why not join us and Encounter God!


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Bodyguard

On Friday night Nicky & I went to see the musical 'The Bodyguard'! It brought back so many memories that last night we sat down and watched the film:)

Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston starred in the film and were great. The movie was released the year I got married and I have been singing to my wife 'I will always love you' ever since.
What more does a story need - a beautiful demonstrative woman who falls for the silent strong man!

The London stage show stuck very close to the original storyline. I always find musicals move me but this one especially so. For some reason, much to Nicky's amusement, I could not hold back the tears - even in the interval - and had to go to the MEN's room to sort myself out.

The notion of someone prepared to lay down their life for the protection of another is stirring.
Yet as all good stories seem to be, this is only a dim reflection of the one true story: Jesus was not just prepared to, but did die for me, and not just for me but for any would would trust in HIM.

I continue to want that story to move me more

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Apprentice.....

There are now so many options for life post 18.

This year my oldest son sits his A levels and then must choose which door to go through:
1 - Take a Gap year
2 - University, he has 3 offers
3 - Do an apprenticeship.... has been offered a 5year course with BDO that will result in him being a chartered accountant.

How do you decide?
How can I offer impartial advice? (There is only 1 door that will result in me receiving rent!)

I am so glad that as Christians we can pray and ask God for advice and direction when making such big decision:0)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

It's Raining......

Living in the UK means you can get any weather any day!

I think this is great: gives us something to think about, talk about, to plan for and makes life interesting.

Having said that I think we should be grateful to Jonas Hanway who I discovered this week is buried in Hanwell.

Jonas lived in London during the 18th Century, though he travelled the world. It is believed that he was the 1st man to use an umbrella in this country.
Although he was a pioneer the use of the umbrella has grown and grown - now we even leave 80,000 of them on the London Underground every year!

Next time it is raining and you seek cover - remember great things are started in the London Borough of Ealing!


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Barbarian Way

Sometimes you look back on life and realise that there was defining moment.

For me some years ago I attended the Willow Creek Leadership conference in Chicago. I was amazed and fortunate to hear Erwin McManus give a talk entitled: 'The Barbarian Way out of Civilisation.' I laughed. I cried. I begged God that I will never forget the lesson. I hope that my life will be have been totally changed as a result.

When I got home I purchased the talk on CD..... I listened so often I almost knew the sermon word for word.

The book came out and I read it.

The DVD came out and I got hold of a copy. I have given countless copies of the DVD away.

I sit with friends and make them watch. I try and watch this message every year. I aim to watch it this evening.

If you have never heard the talk - I urge you to do so.

I must just give you a health warning - It may seriously impact your life!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Running for Ealing Foodbank

Today I purchased new trainers, shorts & shirt in preparation for the ultra marathon I have entered.

I have also read the book 'Ultra Marathon Man' that I got from Father Christmas this year.

I know, I know.... I also need to get out and do some practice......

I am looking to raise money for Ealing Foodbank
As a church we have been very involved in seeing this established and within 5 months have fed almost 1000 local people across the 3 sites that are now open. The vision is to see another 4 sites established across the Borough within the next 18 months.

Please can I ask you to visit my fund raising page and donate something

Much appreciated

Pete

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Are we nearly there yet?

As a child sat in the back of the car I am told that I was asking this questions before my parents had driven out the end of the road. As a family we used to be up and out early - leaving home by 4am so that we could reach Devon, our holiday destination by breakfast. For at least 4 1/2 hours I was asking are we nearly there yet!

Yesterday I went for my second long run in preparation for the ultra - marathon I have signed up to do in June.  I learnt a couple of useful lessons: it is hard to get the music playing when your phone is stuck in a case strapped to your arm & I don't run long distances well without distraction. (I will get the kids to sort an play list that will go on and on.)

I resorted to counting 1 to 100 in my head (apparently it is a trick that worked for Paula Radcliffe). Yet inside I kept thinking am I nearly there yet! I did mange 31km - 19 miles in old money. But that is not 1/3 of the goal I have to accomplish on the day. I just hope that I can keep going.

What about you? Have you got tired? Are you still asking the question 'Are we nearly there yet?'
What tips do you have to help you persevere?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Confessions..... of a cake o holic

As a child I always had a sweet tooth - loved the old sweets in a jar and couldn't resist the pic 'n' mix!

However as I have got older I believed that my tastes have changed - I am unable to resist crisps.

Yet if you have read any of my previous blogs you will know that I am very partial to Christmas Cake. I felt this was a seasonal weakness..... but I was wrong.

After getting off the phone to my Father today I recognise the error of my ways. My parents are popping in to see me on Good Friday....and I have already been tucking into my Easter Simnel cake! Help I am pretty sure it will all be gone within 5 days..... what do I say to my folk?


Hello. My name is Pete and I am a cake-o-holic!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Getting out of London

I am still not sure why.... but last week I signed up to take part in the Grand Union Challenge.

It has been over 5 years since I ran a marathon and I have always fancied having a go at an ultra-marathon. Often races are on a Sunday and I don't want to miss church so when I was told about the 100KM race on Saturday 28th June - I thought I would give it a go!



I realise I need a bit longer to train..... but helps me focus & gives me an excuse for the time I spend walking:)

I will need some support - sponsorship - I plan to raise money for Ealing Food bank - so watch out as I will be sending a link out soon.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Is Jealousy allowed?

I know that as a parent I am meant to be thrilled for my kids and their opportunities in life.

I feel for years that I have willing tried to open doors for them, drive them to events, cheer them on, pay for lessons and everything else a serving parent would choose.

I have to admit that yesterday I felt jealous.

My oldest son Josh has applied for a part time job at Wembley Stadium..... his first day is this Saturday. He will be "working" at the FA Cup semi-final when Arsenal will be playing Wigan!!!

I am happy to go to work with him on his first day - but he won't let me - its not fair:(

Come on the Gunners!!!!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Cadburys Cream Eggs

They are loved by many - over 2.6million likes on their facebook page!

I am delighted to say that we hope to have them with us at Redeemer on Easter Sunday.

It is only a hope.....

I brought a few today and they are piled on my desk...... but I wonder how many will survive the 2weeks until 20th April?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Dirty iPhone

I have appreciated having an iPhone 4 for the last couple of years....a very useful tool that makes it so much easier to connect and stay in touch with people.
I have even worn out a couple of pairs of jeans where I have carried the device in my left pocket and the denim has worn through!

Having said that recently I have got very frustrated.
Whenever I plugged the lead in to charge it up the connection has got worse and worse. Recently I have had to balance the lead on a pen and then put a pot of pens on the phone to get the angel right to keep the connection good enough to get the power through.

Imagine my embarrassment today when I showed the phone to a friend and he declared the reason that it was not working was because it was dirty!!! Over the weeks and months that I have lovingly carried the phone in my pocket, it has been collecting fluff in the charging socket. I would then ram the lead in and compact the dust deeper and thicker into the machine. Today it took some while to clear out the many layers I and built up over time. (Now I know why the iPhone 5 has a smaller charger point!) Amazing the phone now charges well!


Makes me reflect on life. We pick up little things every day that we might not even notice but over time they build up and prevent us from working well: negative thoughts, unhelpful comments, bad attitudes. Sometimes we need to pause and take some time out to let Jesus give us a deep clean. I am convinced you will be surprised at the results:

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Don't leave.....

Yesterday Josh and I went to see the new film - Captain America: The Winter Soldier.


I admit that I am not a die hard Marvel comic reading  guy - but it was a great evening out with my son. Classic tale where the good looking strong guy does what is right and wins in the end. Twists and turns in the plot and fast paced scenes that kept me interested and intrigued right till the end.

But that is what bothers me.

Although I have only been to a few Marvel comic films even I know that there is always an added bit 1/2 way through the credits at the end. Don't get up. Sit still.

I am amazed how many people immediately left the cinema and missed the extra bits.

Then having waited for the additional scenes people leave.... yet Marvel add another few shots right at the end.... there were only about 10 of us that saw everything last night.

Makes you think.... why do we rush on in life and not hang on to the end..... just wait a little longer and you get even more. Don't give up. Don't leave there is more just round the corner!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

New Job!

On Tuesday - 'Aprils Fools Day' - I start working for a new organisation - Redeemer Church London!


Steve Tibbert & Kings Church London have been absolutely fantastic over the past 2 years. I have attended their Tuesday staff meeting, had loads of admin support getting things in place, helped myself to their stationary cupboard on a regular basis and felt the invaluable support of friends cheering me on as we looked to plant a church in Ealing.

THANKS TO EVERYONE in Catford:)

I also feel excited about the next chapter in the Life of Redeemer.... already wondering who we will be employing next?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Ealing Foodbank

It was approx. a year ago when we felt it right to invest time and energy into seeing a Trussell Trust Foodbank established for the Borough of Ealing.

Chris Sutton has since done an incredible job liaising with other churches, establishing a charity, setting up a team and board of reference, casting vision, praying and generally making the whole thing get off the ground.

Amazing to fast forward to today when there is a client centre in Acton & Greenford and the Southall centre will open tomorrow. Soon there will be centres in Northolt & Hanwell and hopefully another 2 centres will be open by next year. In the first four months over 880 local people have been fed!

It was great to see that Chris Sutton was proposed as a community hero in the Ealing Gazette this week!(Read the full article here!)

Chris is a hero to me and all the other people who have benefited from his incredible work.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Call the midwife!

This week was Nicky's birthday and she had been on about getting a basket for her bike so that she could easily carry items around as she plans to do more cycling in the future.

To cut a long story shorty - I ended up buying her a new bike.

I am not sure this new machine is made for speed and racing. The new bicycle is solid, well built and will last a lifetime.

As per usual when you buy something new you spot them everywhere: we have since discovered 2 people in our community group have the same set of wheels!

The style and image seems popular locally. It makes me want to shout - Call the midwife!



Wednesday, 19 March 2014

England Rugby

Having to take a few days off unwell gave me the time to read a book that has been sat around at home for sometime: Will Carling: My Autobiography.

As I grew up Will Carling was the rugby man and Gary Linekar the football lad. Heroes of mine and so I was fascinated to discover a bit more about their inner life.

Will's love of Rugby, his success on the field with the Grand Slam victories was surely a turing point for the game: built on by Clive Woodward and the development of the professional led to England winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

The sense of team, the energy, the buzz, the drive, the challenge, the cost can all be hugely motivating. Awareness of his own weakness and mistakes he had made, the need to seek counselling also make Will a figure that is real and can be connected to.

Having enjoyed the book; the danger with any autobiography is that they are not honest enough about the weakness and probably not proud enough of the achievements.

I am sure others will evaluate my own life more fully and honestly than I ever will.

I am confident that one day I will stand before Him who has seen everything and I will have to
give an account for all my days.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Book Thief

On Monday afternoon Nicky & I went to see the 'The Book Thief' at the cinema.

A powerful story of a girl who suffers much tragedy and hardship in her life. The horrors of war, ignorance, and premature death leave many scars. The shortage of food, the bullying and abuse of authority figures meant I could not hold the tears. (I am glad it was Monday afternoon and there were only 4 other folk in the cinema)

As the main character Liesel was smashed by hardship and difficulties an inner beauty was squeezed out. Even when she resorted to stealing it was not food for herself but words to bring life to another.

I left the cinema grateful for all I have; my family, more than enough to eat, a warm home and hope for the future.

I was also challenged the example of Hans, who could not watch whilst others suffered but recognised his responsibility to get involved.

I am so grateful for the work of organisations like Tearfund that raise the plight of the poor round the world and aim to help us all to make a difference.

Friday, 14 March 2014

I Can't Sing

I love living in London and going to see a musical. As a family we have devoted many hours to watching the X Factor series over the years: so Nicky, Lois & I combined both passions by going to see I Can't Sing last night!


I must admit that I found the first half hilarious - during the interval people sitting 2 rows in front, turned round and told me what a wonderful laugh I have! There were many quick one liners, with no-one taking themselves too seriously.

I felt the second half crossed the line. More focused on mocking the judges it was not to my taste. On several occasions Simon Cowell was portrayed as 'the Christ' or 'the Messiah'.

There were positives from the evening:
The ticket was raising money for the kid's school PTFA
Being on time despite problems on the tube which meant we got off early and ran down Oxford Street
Being together
It is good to laugh

I am already looking forward to next month and taking Nicky to see The Bodyguard!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

NHS Direct

I pride myself on not often needing medical assistance - but maybe I am just too proud to ask for help.

I visited my doctor regarding a lump coming up on my neck and he sent me directly to A & E. He had phoned ahead and spoken to the Ear Nose & Throat Specialist so I was under the impression that I would not be sat in a long queue but would be seen immediately by the doctor awaiting my arrival.

I produced the handwritten letter from my GP and explained my condition hoping that I would be waved through. My bubble was burst. I sat in the waiting room with everyone else. I had to be seen and admitted into the system like everyone else. I was then checked by 2 nurses who completed paperwork and tested me for a couple of things before sticking a needle into my arm.

When I asked why I need the apparatus and what drugs I was to be given, I was informed it was just in case.  Just in case!


I spent approx. 5 hours in A & E, had a ultra scan and camera stuck down my nose. The staff were very thorough - even phoned me with the date for my follow up appointment before I had finished driving home.

The only down side was they never used the thing sticking out of my arm..... so it was pulled out and thrown away.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Lost & ..... nearly found

Recently I took my daughter out for a fun relaxed evening at the cinema. I spotted a lady on the train reading one of Terry Virgo's books and we got chatting (friendly place London!). After she got off I noticed an Oyster card holder on the floor. D'Oh.

When I opened the plastic wallet I discovered a girls Oyster card, Student rail travel card and her University card. I decided against leaving it where I found it and thought I would hand it in at the ticket office when I got off the train.

The station was not maned, so I carried the lost property with me.

The next day I phoned the London University and informed them of the items I had belonging to one of their students; could I post it to them? Sadly they were unable to help me and told me that I had to take it to a Police Station.

The next day I went to a local Police Station and after a considerable wait was told they were not supposed to accept the lost property.... apparently I had to locate a Transport Police person to hand it in....

I ended up wishing I had not picked up the cards..... though my daughter was impressed by my good deed.

What have you started that took longer than you thought?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Mock Exams

The 1st week back after 1/2 term and our family has been suffering.

I know that Nicky & I are not sitting the tests but we are trying to do everything we can to encourage revision (I even turned the TV down the other night!)
Seriously in preparation for important exams in the summer - practise papers are printed and completed, notes are made, cups of tea are consumed and  hopefully enough information is being retained long enough to get the grades!

It can be hard to really focus as we know these are not the real thing; having said that we know the real thing will go better the more seriously these mock exams are taken.

I have always said to my kids 'You play like you practice' so give everyday your best.

The Bible teaches that one day we will stand before God. It is no point leaving everything to last minute cramming  - as we never know when our last days are. Fortunately I know I will pass that test as Jesus took my place.

How prepared are you for that Day?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Monuments Men

One of my New Years resolutions is to go to the cinema every month with my oldest son. He can choose the film - I just love time in the car together, chatting about the film and relish time in his company.

On Friday he choose for us to go and see The Monuments Men.

I enjoyed the idea of a small group of unlikely men taking on a gigantic task. I appreciate that there would be some 'film makers licence' involved - I use 'preachers licence' myself most Sundays.
Many exciting lessons were picked up: the notion that you are not to old to be involved. The friendship that develops when working in a team. The coping with disappointment when things go wrong. Inspiring lessons when wanting to be involved in Church Planting.

I guess the biggest challenge is that men died to save art. 
It left me with the question - What do I care so much about that I would be prepared to die? Sometimes I get frustrated over inconvenience. 

I believe that Jesus loves me so much that He was prepared to die for me.
I know that thousands around the world will be killed this year due to their love for Jesus.

What would you give your life for?

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentines Day

How do you celebrate Valentines day?

Last year my kids school held a parents meeting in the evening.....I guess that is good if you love education!
This year the school is closed for an INSET day..... I guess that is good if you love sleep (I am sure Lois will be in her PJ's all day)

Having been married to Nicky for almost 22 years....and I always remember my wedding Anniversary.... I casually said to her "I guess we don't worry about 14th February?"

The long slow pause told me I was wrong.

The suggestion I at least take her for coffee and buy a card.... means 'time' and a 'present' is required.....HELP! (Any suggestions would be much appreciated)

It is so easy to take people for granted. It is good to take the opportunity to express our love to those we cherish and can easily forget to tell.

When was the last time you expressed your love to God?
What creative ways can you think of to demonstrate your passion for Him in the future?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Silver Bullet

Stories from the past referenced the silver bullet as the only way possible to kill a person or animal resistant to normal weapons.
Recently the term has been used for something that is straightforward and extremely effective. Often in business we seek the next idea, the latest strategy, and look to discover the shortest route to quick unending success.

I believe that the Kingdom of God is to advance, the church is to increase and people are to grow as disciples of Jesus.
There is also the pressure of being a man and having my identity wrapped up in my achieving targets and goals.

It is very tempting therefore to always be looking out for the Silver Bullet. I do believe in change and new ideas - but I also want to be committed to doing the regular, routine things faithfully and well.

As a church leaders I would like to avoid having to jump on the latest 'band wagon' but remain confident that Jesus is building His church: so wish to keep Loving God and Loving People at the centre of Redeemer.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Pornography

This morning I have sat and read a book - cover to cover.

It is not often that I make the time but I am preparing for a sermon next Sunday on a topic that I have never preached on before. It is part of a new series we are about to launch  at Redeemer, called iGeneration.

As Christians we called to be 'salt' & 'light'  in a rapidly changing world and need to be clear on what we believe and how we behave. I am excited that as a church we will cover such topics as pornography, social media, marriage, sex, singleness, money, influence, time and identity.

I am really excited about this practical preaching series, though recognise it will throw up many questions and challenges, can't wait to get started. The Bible is so relevant to today!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Park Run

One of my New Years resolutions was to go along and take part in a Park Run.

I realise that I am way behind the times.... this week on their website I discovered they have hosted 25,429 events already, there have been 408, 798 runners, who have covered 10,042, 095Km and it has taken a combined time of 184years, 217 days, 14 hours 54 minutes and 12 seconds!

Well I still haven't done one.... but I have registered my whole family incase we can get up and out of bed for 9am this Saturday!

What have you said you were going to do but never got round to it?

Friday, 31 January 2014

Dedications

I love meeting together every Sunday as a church..... whatever the week has been like I find it encouraging to gather with others, focus on God and stir one another on how we can serve the area we live!

I so enjoy a baptism - when someone declares that Jesus is their Lord: they demonstrate how they have died to themselves and now live for Him.

I get excited about dedications. I believe that children are a gift from God. It is wonderful to stand with new and experienced parents to give thanks, to pray for them and to express our commitment to help them in the coming years.

This Sunday Redeemer London has  3 dedications - should be a great at morning:)

Feel free to come and join us at Ealing Town Hall 10:30am