Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vive La France

There may not be much activity here over the next week or so. Depends on wireless connections in France and if I can be dragged away from the pool.

Have a good week I intend to!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What Leadership Demands

A few weeks ago I added What Leadership Demands to my Google Reader. I had not quite got round to reading the entries that were popping into my RSS feeder. The Ultimate Event kicked in and everything got behind.

This week I have slowly been catching up and have over the last couple of days started to jump through the entries. What Leadership Demands rocked my world. Written by Shane Duffey, Creative Arts Pastor at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC. it really is a brilliant blog on leadership.

If you are in any sort of leadership you need to subscribe to it today. Shane clearly understands what it is to lead people, the difficulties, the pitfalls, the successes. It has already given me a stack of things to start working through in my own life.

Check out this entry: Why wonder? I have work to do.


“We are invited to become followers of Jesus. Not just believers.” - John Eldridge

Monday, May 19, 2008

£2 to save a babies life

I blogged about this before. Read it here.

Take a sneak preview of a video I have put together to complement Mark's message this Sunday - Influencing our World.

Gratitude - John Phillips

Leaving home to go to Bible College at the age of 19 seemed exciting but looking back I really think I wasted much of my time there. You have the chance to study solidly for a couple of years with little distractions or worries but not the maturity to grasp it.

One thing that stands out to me during that time was my introduction to Pastor John Phillips. I can still seem myself dragging myself to yet another lecture. I really was not in the mood for it. Even questioning what I was doing there at college. Sometimes I felt that this God relationship I had fallen into was turning into nothing more than a set of text books. Here I was going for yet another "ology" - Theology, the doctrine of God. Some guy was going to reduce God to a few pages of notes.

That morning I found out that Theology was a thing of beauty. The lecturer that morning was Pastor John Philips. From the moment he prayed to introduce his lecture I was caught hook line and sinker. Rather than reducing God to a few lines of text that I could regurgitate for some exam he exploded my mind with a God who was so vast yet intimate, so powerful yet gentle, so holy yet loving.

That one lecture changed my whole view of Christian doctrine and started a love affair with it that has never stopped.

I found out that Pastor Phillips lead New Life Church in Lincoln with Pastor John Shelbourne and Worship Leaders Chris Bowater. Only 45 minutes drive from Mattersey Hall. For the next 2 year New Life became my home of choice each Sunday.

Pastor Phillips introduced me to the incredible doctrine of the kingdom. He dispelled by unhappiness with the dispensational doctrine of defeat and introduced me to the Kingdom of God here on earth His glorious church.

Pastor Phillips never really knew me personally but I am glad I knew him and I still get his Cassette tapes out to listen to from time to time and chuckle at the way he says: Sciptures.

Pastor Phillips has been retired for some years I last saw him a couple of years ago in Nottingham when I attended his wife's funeral - which was an honour for me to do.

Thank you Pastor Phillips

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flava's got talent

Thought this dance group were great:

Sunday Late Edition

Its been a long day but now chillin out at home.

  • Just watched Bear Grylls: Born Survivor with Liam. That guy is mental.
  • Great day at church.
  • Biggest crowd since Easter.
  • We baptised 7 people today
  • The band rocked. New PA for the first time great improvement sure it will be even better once we get it fine tuned.
  • They played "Go tell it on the mountain" by Lee McDerment. Its brilliant. If you don't have the album Matchlight in the Dark. Download it here.
  • Mark did a great job talking about Influencing our city.
  • We are called to be salt and light. Watch this video by Tim Keller talking about the difference between them.

  • Had an email from a youth leader this week who took a minibus of 16 kids to the Ultimate Event last week. On the way there 4 were Christians on the way back 16 were following Jesus. It makes it all worth while.
  • Roll on Thursday. France, beach, sun and maybe a bottle of plonk or two.
  • A little jealous that Mark & Ian are on there way to Saddleback this week for a Leaders Gathering but hey my holiday comes first. (only just)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Small World

If you have visited this site recently I am sure you will be filly aware that last Saturday our annual event the Ultimate Event took place. (View Flickr slideshow here) The main reason we do this is not just to give a bunch of Christians a good day out but to introduce people to Jesus. So many people come to the event who are on the fringes of church or have not been before.

thebandwithnoname did a great job MC'ing the event and also presenting Jesus to the crowd. Its always brilliant to see so many people responding but here at Ultimate we don't always hear much more. Everybody joins their group and heads home celebrating.

I popped round to my in laws last night and they had a phone call from an old friend back home. Although not a church attender himself his son had gone with a group to the Ultimate Event at Alton Towers and had come back in his words - "Converted". He called my in laws to find out if they knew anything about the event!

God is good and the world is small.

Why should the devil have all the good music?

A line from an old song but I have been thinking a lot about a post that Tony Morgan made this week about the music genre we use in church in comparison to popular music genre today in our culture. He compared a poll of his blog readership to the top 100 downloads on iTunes. Not too scientific I know but I found it really interesting. Here is the UK split for the top 100 downloads on iTunes today:

Pop 36%
Alternative 19%
Rock 12%
Dance 10%
Hip Hop Rap 10%
R&B 10%
Electronic 3%

If I was going to describe our music at MKCC it would probably be pop / rock. Clearly music is a massive influence on so many peoples lives and it made me think about how we as a church should react to this if at all.

What I do know is that in the UK we have a tradition of some great Hymn writers and maybe I am showing my age but I love a great hymn. Maybe not so well known though is that many of the writers took the pup songs of the day and rewrote the words. They had a well known secular tune so that many people would recognise it with different words. I think they were on to something.

In the UK of 2008 we live in a very diverse society with a wide range of likes and dislikes. I am convinced that we need to take a lesson from the old hymn writers and take every opportunity to connect people with the gospel message.

Growing up in church 20 years ago changing the style of music was a hot topic that caused many a discussion even arguments. The use of drums, guitars and the like was revolutionary then with a desire to be more relevant to the world around us. Maybe there is another bar for us to raise.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Last day

Its Abbie's last official day at school today. It seems 5 minutes ago when we dressed her up in her first school dress uniform and walked her to school.

She has got to go back for some exams and will have her prom before she is totally free but from today things change.

I asked her this morning as she had now left school when was she moving out? Her reply of NEVER quite worried me!

Gratitude and prayer

My Dad called me yesterday to tell me that an old friend of mine from back home fell off a roof at work and is seriously ill in hospital. Please pray for Teddy.

Teddy was a great influence in my life many years ago. He was an elder in a local church and he did lots to encourage the young people and me. Back then there was as there often was a bit of a power struggle in church. The radicals v the traditionalists. We being young people were continually trying to rock the boat. We hated the old way of doing church and wanted it different. With lack of wisdom we didn't always do it the right way and ended up becoming more obsessed with change then Jesus.

Teddy was always our friend in the establishment. He stood for what we stood for but certainly in front of me always spoke well of the people who didn't quite see it the same way. He had time for you. His house was always open and more often than not had a crowd of young people hanging out debating something spiritual. Teddy certainly helped my journey with Jesus.

Unfortunately after I left for college some things went off that I really do not know much about. What I do know is that Teddy stopped going to church and because I now live so far away and do not spend much time back up in Scotland I have only seen him once in many years.

I suppose my dad knew he meant allot to me so that why he called. I am thankful for his influence in my life and am sad that his journey with Jesus hit some rocks. I pray for him today that Jesus will be with him in hospital, touch his body and remind Teddy how much he loves him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

God of this City

An unknown worship band from Belfast,Northern Ireland, Bluetree, recently penned a song God of this City. A prophetic statement that God had not finished with their city and he was going to do greater things.

The song was picked up by Chris Tomlin and included in the recent Passion album.

Newspring Church used it last week in their services and put a great video along with it showing what God had already done in their city and made it a declaration of what he was going to do in their city through them His church.

Watch the video:

Now let the song become part of us. Lets pray for our city then do something about it. We are revival to our neighbours, our street and our city.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

9400 rock the towers

After months of planning the Ultimate Event it came and went last Saturday. It has consumed almost every spare minute I have had over the last few weeks and it will keep me busy for a few days yet clearing up.

It was an amazing day. We ended up with 9400 people from all over the UK. We also saw scores of young people respond to thebandwithnoname invite to follow Jesus for the first time.

We had one or two little difficulties with sound very early on but it did not seem to spoil the enjoyment judging by the feedback we have received. We will have some better footage once we hear from God TV but here is some quick footage of Delirious shot from hand held cam with not very good sound but you get the idea.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Only Ultimate

Next to no posts this week. Sorry to the few of you who stop by on a semi regular basis to read my inane meanderings. But the Ultimate Event takes place this weekend and some things have just got to wait.

If you do not know already it is an event we have run from our local church for the past 14 years at Alton Towers Theme Park. Attendees enjoy a day out on the crazy rides then and evening of some great music buy great Christian artists. Its going to be a great day and numbers are only going to be eclipsed by a sell out year in 2004 of 12,000. 2008 will be our second biggest year so far with around 9000 in attendance.

Young people are coming from all over the country. Pray with me that many young people will start a journey with Jesus this weekend at the event.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Animals on the Tube

Its amazing what people will dream up in their spare time.

Check out the rest of the Animals on the tube.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pretty Amazing Grace

Heard this song on American Idol sang by Neil Diamond.

Pretty amazing grace is what You showed me
pretty amazing grace is who You are
I was an empty vessel
You filled me up inside
and with amazing grace restored my pride

Pretty amazing grace is how You saved me
and with amazing grace reclaimed my heart
love in the midst of chaos
calm in the heat of war
showed with amazing grace what love was for

You forgave my insensitivity
and my attempt to then mislead You
You stood beside a wretch like me
Your pretty amazing grace was all I needed.

Stumbled inside the doorway of Your chapel
humbled in God by everything I found
beauty and love surround me
freed me from what I fear
ask for amazing grace and You appear

You overcame my loss of hope and faith
gave me a truth I could belive in
You led me to a higher place
showed Your amazing grace
when grace was what I needed

look in a mirror I see Your reflection
open a book You live on every page
I fall and You're there to lift me
share every road I climb
and with amazing grace You ease my mind

Came to You with empty pockets first
when I returned I was rich man
didn't believe love could quench my thirst
but with amazing grace You showed me that it can

In Your amazing grace I had a vision
from that amazing place I came to be
into the night I wandered
wandering aimlessly
found Your amazing grace to comfort me.

pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing

You overcame my loss of hope and faith,
gave me a truth I could believe in.
You led me to that higher place
showed me that love and truth and hope and grace were all I needed.

That was the week that was

This week has gone by in a flash.

  • Ultimate Events has dominated. Just over a week away and ticket sales and last minute decisions have crowded the week. In the first 4 days we have sold over 1000 tickets and it looks like we could break the 10,000 barrier.
  • This means we need to invest a little extra in logistics. Some more toilets. (and some people think its glamorous organising a large event).
  • Wishing that people would not leave it so late to buy their tickets when what you want to do is improve the production to make their day better but you don't know if you have the budget.
  • Trying to decide if we should another 40 sq mtr video screen to the arena but it will cost around £5k. But hey if you want to sponsor it let me know!
  • Then its back to more basics. How many: tables, chairs, AAA passes, bottles of water the list goes on.
  • So many of the great people from MKCC are volunteering their time to make the Ultimate Event happen. They are serving the 1000's of young people who will attend with no reward apart from the knowledge that some young person may start a journey with Jesus. They are great!
  • Planning some thing for our Influence series. Some great songs, videos, preaching to help us understand the monumental fact that we are not here to be part of a secret society. Part of the Enid Blyton Secret Seven meeting in a shed in the back garden w are here to be a shining light in a dark world. Make sure you get to church on Sunday and bring your friends.