Monday, July 30, 2007
Our building at MKCC is very much a multi use building. Our main hall is used each Sunday for our church service but during the week it takes on many guises. Nursery, children's clubs, meetings etc etc. So at the end of each Sunday we put away all the seats.
I was helping and this lady came up and started helping as well. She lifted and stacked the chairs as well as moving the stacks. Once we had finished she came up and asked me "Could I do this every week? I get so much and I just want to give something back to say thank you."
What a great attitude. I nearly cried. I just loved her heart of gratitude. Makes a change from the little quips you hear sometimes: "I am not being fed" Thank goodness the heart of gratitude shouts loud.
I am grateful for an unbelievable wife.
I am grateful for my kids.
I am grateful for some incredible friends.
I am grateful that I get to do a job I love.
I am grateful for all the members of MKCC that give so much of their time, talent and treasure.
I am grateful that Jesus stepped into my life.
Hey its a wonderful life.
What are you grateful for.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Last night I visited Blockbuster to get a couple of DVDs for the kids. Whilst there I decided to get one for Nicola & I to watch. After considering numerous titles that I am sure Nicola would have been quite interested in I choose one I was certain she would enjoy! - a war film. "Flags of our Fathers"
Telling the story behind the famous American war monument of Marines planting a flag in Iwo Jima. Although a very enlightening if somewhat sad story I found Clint Eastwood's depiction a little confusing and mundane.
However one little quote really hit me right at the end.
"Soldiers will fight for their country but they will die for their friends."
This would have to be a very special friendship. Probably the word friend has lost some of its meaning. We call people our friends so quickly. A quick look at the number of friends we can generate on Facebook can tell you that.
What I do know and am forever grateful for is that Jesus choose to die for his enemies so that we could become his friends - me included!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Myself and our Senior Pastor, Mark, have just signed up to go to the Unleash 2008 conference at NewSpring Church in March.
I can not remember how I first came in contact with NewSpring, probably through reading a blog, but it has made a great impact on me without ever visiting there. In fact in someways you do not have to visit. Many of the staff are readily available through their blogs:
To name a few. They also podcast their sermons and also GIVE AWAY their material - graphics, videos etc etc.
Mark and I are going to use the time to see first hand what God is doing there and try to hook up with a few other churches we have become familiar with through blog world. The first being Ridgestone Church. Some of their staff have very kindly agreed to meet with us.
We are keen to learn all we can in building an incredible grace filled church that reaches people that NEED Jesus. I am sure that this conference and these churches will help us grow.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Feels like I have been sub contracted to work for our children's department over the last few days. They are gearing up to go to camp in a couple of weeks. Abbie and Liam are going along with my wife, Nicola, our children's Pastor. (Guess that explains why I've been doing work for that department.) It will be pretty quiet around the house for a couple of weeks.
I designed a couple of graphics to go along side here teaching series. Last night I introduced her to the blog world. She is going to use her blog as a resourse for the 70 volunteers involved in Dream Team. (MKCC Children's Ministry) You can check it out here.
I also created a little intro video for her series Live Life Love Life.
Hopefully I will get payment some time.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Thinking about wat it looks like to be a follower of Jesus. Here are some of the marks of God conceived, God shaped life.
Desperation for the lost
Eternity in our hearts.
There are no half measures with God.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
This week I received an e mail asking me to add my name to a petition on a government website. It suggested that the government was planning to use £100m of public money to build a "super" mosque in London. I was being asked to add my name to protest against this. (whether I should do this is another story for another time)
I am always wary of these e mails so decided to check things out a little. It would appear that there was very little truth if any in this story. (Read Mayor response) My point? If I acted on hearsay I would have been acting on untruth.
My faith is not supposed to be the result of hearsay. To often we can depend on someone elses's understanding of God without gaining the intimate knowledge of God for ourselves. I think the saying goes we can learn allot about God without ever knowing God. Following Jesus is all about relationship and intimacy. As in any relationship the first meeting is just that the first meeting. There is such a vast wide world in God that we still have to explore. I don't want to hear other peoples stories and experience, they just inspire me to know God more for myself.
Philippians 3 v 8 - 10
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I am really looking forward to our new teaching series which is starting this Sunday. "Just walk across the room" is based on Bill Hybels new book by the same name. Myself and Mark have had a great time thinking up some new ways of communicating this message. Check out a preview of our introduction video below - Starring Mark Sherratt our Senior Pastor.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Not sure why but joined one of the growing social network sites over the last couple of days. There seems to be a few of them out their. One or two of the blogs I read mentioned Facebook a few time so I thought I would take the plunge.
You can view my profile here. Do more than just look - join in. You too can join in the hype.
Already hooked up with a couple of old friends from college (here and here) and found a group for it as well.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 8:52 am
Monday, July 16, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I picked up a copy of "The Blair Years" which for the uninitiated is a book compiled from extracts of a diary by Alastair Campbell. Realise I am a little sad but this book has got me quite intrigued. This last week I watched a 3 part BBC documentary based on the book and it got me hooked. (However thought it quite ironic that the BBC did so much to portray AC in such a positive light after the intense difficulties between the two - particularly surrounding the Hutton enquiry.)
Don't really want to be too political but suffice to say having grown up under the iron lady - Margaret Thatcher - I was only to happy to see the demise of the then Tory party and the dawn of a new force, New Labour under the guidance of Tony Blair. All these years later I am not really sure if they really made a massive difference. I am sure they did but somehow we expected even more.
However one quote very early on in the book, at 757 pages it could take some time, was, "Caution won't win elections, courage will." This phrase really caught my attention and challenged me. Reminded me of this verse and Joshua standing on the verge or the unknown. History stood before him and all he needed was the courage to step into it.
Sometimes I am far too cautious, must remember that courage is needed to win.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Little things tend to annoy me. Then there is the British service industry. That really ticks me off.
As I travel around the UK motorway system I am encouraged to take a break have a rest at one of our over priced service stations. They have a captive audience so the decide the customer is there to be fleased for anything from fuel to a mars bar.
Last night I went to one ironically called Welcome Break. I bought my Burger King and set of to have a "rest" one one of the big leather sofas they have invested in which I suppose is their attempt to help you enjoy this well needed break.
As I walked towards this oasis of calm I was shouted at and told that that whole area had been closed for the night. It was 8.30 pm. In fact as it turned out they had closed around 80% of the seats in the service station. Why? They did this every night. They cleaned that area ready for the morning. So if you wanted to have a break from around 8.30 pm till 8.30 the next morning you couldn't access the most comfortable area.
Now I have to admit I am one of those sad people who will try to get one of the soft seats in Starbucks. But for the life of me why would a company incest money into items that are there to make their customers experience better only to declare them off bounds for 50% of the time they are open. Why are the people that arrive at 9 am more important than the people that arrive at 9 pm.
Unfortunately, i would suggest they have become more obsessed with their internal workings and procedures making things easier for them that they have forgotten that they are there to provide what their name suggests - a Welcome Break.
Thinking today what have I taken my eye off. Church is all about people. What does church do to make it easier for itself whilst inconveniencing people.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I took one of those on line personality tests. Suggested I am a Generous Realist. Not sure what that exactly means but when I read the detail many of it struck a cord.
My personalDNA Report
You can take the test here.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 6:09 pm
My 15 year old daughter brought home a baby from school last night. Well actually a baby doll. The deal is that it acts very much like a real baby - it cries allot. It cries when its hungry, when it needs changing, when it needs attention.
Abbie was up at 4 am with mollie and found it difficult to get ready for school because the baby just wouldn't settle down. As I was leaving Abbie told me she NEVER wanted a baby. Music to a fathers ears. Anything that tells my 15 year old baby that she shouldn't have a baby for many years gets my vote!
The Bible talks about people who have just started a relationship with Jesus as babies. Babies can be time consuming, disturb your routine, demand your attention and generally make a mess but Mum and Dad wouldn't have it any other way because the new life is priceless.
Each new life that starts when a person collides with Jesus is priceless. They are not the finished article and they are sure to mess things up and disturb the status quo but we just can not have it any other way.
It is the reason we exist.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
After my post yesterday about the difficulties I have been experiencing it was interesting that the following post found its way to my Google Reader today. Written by Terry Storch. Today is the public launch of MadChurchDisease.com. As a trailblazer, or early adopter if you will, I have been supporting Anne in this project for a while now. I am excited about it, and really think it will have a big Kingdom impact. Here are the highlights in a short and sweet TerryStorch.com kinda way. –The Book–
Mad Church Disease is a book which will discuss the epidemic of ministry burnout in today’s contemporary church.
If you feel like spreading the news about Mad Church Disease you can click here and see all the ways to add images like this.
Make sure you take the survey today and tell your friends about it.
Today is the public launch of MadChurchDisease.com. As a trailblazer, or early adopter if you will, I have been supporting Anne in this project for a while now. I am excited about it, and really think it will have a big Kingdom impact. Here are the highlights in a short and sweet TerryStorch.com kinda way.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Posts have been few and far between this last week. The fact is that last week I just hit the wall. For the last year and a half things seem to have been non stop. Any idea of life balance has been non existent.
Working full time in the church is what I believe God has gifted me to do and I love what I do. That's the problem. I feel driven by my passion, driven by His cause, driven by my desire to please God. I fool myself into thinking things will be different once I get past this project. Once I get this out of the way then I'll have more time for myself, more time for my family. The problem is that there is always another project.
Even on my recent "holiday" I took my lap top and my smart phone so I could continue to work. Well it all came home to roost last week. After sitting for 2 hours in front of my computer getting more and more frustrated that I couldn't complete a task that I could normally do in my sleep I had to bail out.
3 days of no e mail, no computer, no church staff at least I am able to start back. I still need to get some balance into my life and I know that's going to be hard.
Had a laugh today when I was reading the Bible. Paul was reflecting to the church at Corinth about some difficult times he had faced. In 2 Corinthians 4 v 9 he says "In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again."
It just reminded me of a song called
Chumbawamba - World Cup: Winners - Tubthumping" src="http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/images/badgeitunes61x15dark.gif" height="15" width="61">
Tubthumping by Chumbawamba:
I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never going to keep me down
Sometimes all we need to do is just get up again!