Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Old Friends

Last Saturday my wife and I were invited to an old friends 40 birthday bash. (Really my wifes friend) But many years ago a group of us used to hang out together. Most of us met when we were single and gradually got married off. We all sort of went our separate ways.

20 years has seen us all change so much, expanding waist lines and receding hairlines were very much on view. These sort of events are always interesting in that you enter fully into a 20 year old relationship. Though you and the person have not changed in any way. When the truth of the matter is that we have all changed dramatically in the inside as well as the all to obvious outside features.

You have so many expectations growing up as to what you want to accomplish in life. I spent some time thinking of how things have developed.

1. I have a better relationship with my God.
2. I have a fantastic relationship with my wonderful wife.
3. I have 2 great kids.
4. I am fulfilling my dream of pasturing a great church with some great fiends.

I could not have wished for anything better.

It was good to talk to old friends. Even though we don't see each other very often now I pray that their lives will give them the fulfillment that I am having on this great adventure.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Treasures in ordinary jars

Church life continues to be exciting and fulfilling. I can't think of anything I would rather be doing.

As our church continues to develop we are going through the process of developing a new leadership team. Maybe the word is more recognizing than developing. We have a wonderful group of people who are dedicated and sold out for our church. They are already leading most of what happens within our church. Although many of them don't realise it and certainly will not admit it they are hugely talented.

In a day when even in church leadership ego seems to reign supreme it is wonderful to be surrounded by a group of friends who passionately want to see God's love impact the world, are doing their level best to make this happen but don't quite realise what God has made them.

My wife is our Children's Pastor. She said that she was overwhelmed to be asked to form part of our churches "Vision Team" (Our name for our core leadership team). When I asked why? She said that she didn't know what she could contribute! I sat dumbfounded. Nicola has lead our Children's Ministry for a few years and has built it into something to be proud of. She leads the largest ministry team, has developed leaders to take over parts of the ministry and is now working with our Youth Pastors. And she doesn't think she has anything to contribute. I think God can work with an attitude like this. Unfortunately my experience with many leaders has been so different. As soon as a little bit of "success" comes along a look at me syndrome sets in.

We are all just ordinary pots, nothing great to look at on the outside, but we carry with us the worlds greatest treasure - Jesus.

I am looking forward to working and laughing with this "ordinary" Leadership Team.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One is the most lonely number

I eagerly picked up Erwin McManus new book "Soul Craving" from the bookshop recently. Since hearing Erwin speak at a Willow Creek Conference in Cheltenham a couple of years ago I have made a point of ensuring I read his books and listening to his podcast at

Having your mind and heart challenged is one of the greatest gifts you can have. Too often we settle for the status quo in our lives, in our careers and in our churches. We need voices in our lives to shake us up a bit, to have our world rocked. I thank God that he uses people like Erwin McManus to ruffle our feathers and to tip us out of our comfortable boat.

In the first section of this new book he explores our desire, search and absolute desperate need for love. God created with an inbuilt need to love and be loved. We were never meant to be alone. That comes from someone like me who actually enjoys his own company. But you can enjoy things with someone you love that you can never experience alone. Life is always better shared.

I thank God for the relationships he has put around me. My wonderful wife who continues to surprise me even after 18 years. My kids who seem to manage to bring to the zenith of so many emotions on a daily basis. My friends who continually inspire and challenge me and of course my church family here at Milton Keynes Christian Centre who are committed to loving people unconditionally.

Above all this is my relationship with my confidant, lover and friend - Jesus. The last 32 years like any relationship have seen their ups and downs but he never gave up or lost interest.

Its truly a great life when you have left the number one and pursued relationship.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Pursued By God

The first few days of this year have been endured with a stinking cold. It has had one benefit though. As I have spent some time alone at home feeling a bit sorry for myself I have watched a few TV programmes I SKY+ over the Christmas period and have not had a chance to watch.

One in particular was a production called "C S Lewis: Beyond Narnia." Anton Rodgers, cast as an elderly C S Lewis, took us on a journey of the great writers life. Childlike faith gave way to staunch atheism which was in turn pulled down by the love and Grace of God bursting into a somewhat reticent life.

It was suggested that C S Lewis didn't really want to believe he was a reluctant Christian. The words that struck me were:

"It was at all times quite wonderful. Although I sincerely wished it were not. I was in an unholy muddle. Where could I turn? Was there no escape? It was a hunt and I was the prey!"

Many people talk about man's search for God. I have come to realise more and more that God's is on the hunt. Motivated and spurred on by His ultimate passion - relationship with people. He will not be put off and he will not miss out.

Maybe its time for us to stop running and be caught!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


It's a long time since I have posted anything. I have been intending getting back into it but like so many things never get started. Lesson to be earned there.

I got a phone call from my dad this morning to tell me that my Granny had passed away. Not unexpected but always hard to hear when some one you love dies. I have been privileged to have Mary Whyte as my Granny. Bill and Mary (Granny and Diddie) lived only 3 doors away from our family house in Inverallochy and they booth had a massive influence on my young life.

I spent much of my time as a kid in their company and loved listening to their stories. Sleep overs were an adventure and nothing in the house was sacred. Beds or "Shakky doons" were made up in the living room and we made toast and melted marshmallows infront of the open fire.

Their house was also good to visit on Sundays. The TV was never on in our house on Sundays. Religious tradition - but that's another story. So if there was something important on like a world cup match then it was time to visit Granny's.

I remember that she thought the world of me and we all need people who think that of us. My life is so much richer for having her love in my life.

See you again Granny.