The infamous words of Victor Meldrew from one foot in the grave. Today I am another grumpy Scotsman.
Because of delays we are 2 -3 weeks behind getting our literature out for The Ultimate Event at Alton Towers in May. Then with over 13,000 letters to print our all singing all dancing printer decides to throw up an error code which means we have got to get an engineer out with only 2000 printed.
On a brighter note we have now got our literature in and are able to start getting it out there so hopefully we can get back up and running later today.
Here is a message from Ben of This Beautiful Republic.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
This weekend we start a brand new teaching series at MKCC named What if...
What if what happened in the early church in the book of Acts happened in our church today. What would that look like?
We will look at:
- What if ... we were devoted?
- What if ... we met together?
- What if ... we were united?
- What if ... we saw miracles?
- What if ... we were generous?
- What if ... we saw life change?
I will post my thoughts each day and you are welcome to leave your comments also. Come back on the 4th Feb.
Read on line with
Monday, January 28, 2008
Very often in life we try to please people. The wife, the kids, the boss, our friends and even God. And very often what we do doesn't please them at all. You try your best to do what that person wants, to give what they want, to say what they want or to behave like they want, only in the end it doesn't have the desired effect. Because we have misunderstood what it is they really want.
King David wrote a song about this in Psalm 50.
David wrote about people who kept on making sacrifices of their prize animals because that is what they though God wanted. When what he was looking for was much different:
Psalm 50 v 13 - 15 Do you think I feast on venison? or drink draughts of goats’ blood? Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, And call for help when you’re in trouble— I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”
God wants us to remember who he is, keep our word and ask for help.
- Great day at church yesterday. Loads of new visitors. 2nd Service packed.
- Finished reenergize you life series.
- Mark used a great illustration to show the pressures that life brings our way and can bring us almost to breaking point. A few planks of wood suspended between 2 chairs with various bricks place in the middle. The bowed wood certainly made the point clearly. Then preached from Matthew 11 v 28 - 30.
- Usually have a day off but a full week of meetings so going to office after a Starbucks.
- Uploaded video of our special MKCC Christmas Gift (Bit late I know)
- The video below will hopefully make you smile on this Monday morning. X Factor here we come.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
In my daily readings the other day I came to Psalm 45.
In the first few verses it gives an incredible description of Jesus. Beautiful, grace-full, blessed, majestic, triumphant, truthful, meek, protector, royal and king.
Psalm 45 v 1 - 8
It them describes how Jesus feels about His bride the church. glittering, bejeweled, attentive, showered with gifts, loved and cared for.
Psalm 45 v 9 - 15
Then we have verse 16.
“Set your mind now on sons— don’t dote on father and grandfather. You’ll set your sons up as princes all over the earth."
The bride is encouraged to set her mind on producing sons, sons that will rule the earth.
The focus of the churches existence must be to produce sons. To see people born into the kingdom. To see God's kingdom extended and established in the earth. It is so easy for us to loose focus. As a church matures and grows sometimes the focus can shift to the people inside the church rather than reaching people outside the church.
Maybe time to refocus.
Friday, January 25, 2008
The "religion" was born as a result of a nationwide joke in the 2001 census when nearly 400,000 claimed their belief system was Jedi. - Daily Mail
May the force be with you!
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 8:13 am
We I am a little late but catching up on some blog reading here I found out that January 18 is a noted birthday in church history. Having not been brought up in the Catholic tradition I m quite ignorant when it comes to their celebrations and feasts etc.
Seems like January 18 is noted as a celebration of the day that Peter started the church in Rome. Its known as the feast of the chair of St Peter. Read here. Having visited Rome and wondered at its incredible history and spectacular buildings and various collection of art its interesting to reflect on what the church has become.
Church was never meant to be about buildings and rituals it is about people and a heart relationship. I can't help but muse on the fact that the forefront of the arts world was an integral part of the church. In fact the leaders of the church went out of their way to bring the best artists, sculptors etc into the church to produce works of art that are amongst the most celebrated today. What would this look like today?
So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Matthew 16
2000 years of history since Jesus made his declaration about building His church in this world and I am looking forward to Him completing the task.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Watched the video below after seeing it on Tim Stevens blog.
Why oh why is this such a common theme in church life. We end up fighting between ourselves. I understand that a church will not suit everyones taste, but why is it when people do not like the way a church is being lead do they not just leave quietly and find somewhere they can fit in find and place where they can contribute to the kingdom.
Instead they seem to do everything they can to bring pain to the church and the leader they have now left. They do not seem to realise that the fact that they have just left has already caused the leader pain and there is no need to twist the knife in.
There you are trying your best to serve God, making mistakes for sure, then you are told: You are cursed, You are possessed, the holy spirit has left the Church etc etc. It makes me mad and sad.
If you are a leader watch this and at least you will know you are not alone in the pain you sometimes feel.
After what seems to have been a torturous process this year we have finally got our line up for 10th May 2008.
The list of bands we have talked to seems endless, Switchfoot, Tait, Reliant K, Kutless, Newsboys etc. (Gives us a list to go for next year though)
I am positive that the line up we have will give us an incredible show after a great day out at the UKs premier theme park - Alton Towers.
This Beautiful Republic
Visit the website.
Had a blast preaching at church this past Sunday. We are in the middle of a series Re energise your life. This past Sunday we looked at the heart of the matter. Sometimes we can look great and sound great but underneath we have a heart defect that will kill us.
The Christian life is not first and foremost about what we say and do its about a heart to heart relationship with Jesus. One that grows and develops with time spent not just ritual following of rules.
I feel sometimes we like the rules because we think its easier to live a life under the confines and safety of a creed than it is to live a life of adventure, freedom, risk and adventure with God.
Eventually if we follow this path like Lot instead of living on the mountain of risk with God we will compromise with evil and live in smallville (Zoar - means small town) separated from our destiny. (Genesis 19 v 18 - 20)
Friday, January 18, 2008
This must be a joke.
In the words of John McEnroe - "You can not be serious"
Read a post named because on my friend Andrews blog. Looking at the because behind our decisions.
I have been meditating on the life of Lot over the last few days. Orphaned a a young age seemingly adopted by his uncle Abraham. He lived in a covenant relationship with a man with a destiny. God was going to bless Abraham and his family.
After years of close relationship, blessing and growing wealth lot made a destiny defining decision. The because behind that decision is the key. (Genesis 13)
To secure his wealth he chose to break his relationship with his "adopted father" and set up home alongside what the bible describes as evil and wicked people. From that moment on Lots life seems to be afflicted by compromise.
Our choices matter and the because behind it matters more. God can deal with a wrong decision but we must check the why.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Don't know one end of a Guitar from another but this is ingenious.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 6:29 pm
I am with King David:
Psalm 31 v 6 (Message)
I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust.
Rules or freedom
Rituals or worship
Fear or love
Works or faith
Dictator or father
Self or God
Religion or relationship
What do you use as a substitute for God?
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 9:34 am
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Had a great morning at church. We had a great crowd in. Our 11 am service was heaving. This week we had an old friend preaching for us, John Partington. John brings his own unique brand of humour to his message. He gives you great truth and has you splitting your sides with laughter at the same time.
One of the things that stood out for me today was that our prayers must have both faith and patience. Its not always quick fix. He highlighted:
Genesis 25 v 20
Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan Aram. She was the sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed hard to God for his wife because she was barren. God answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant.
This all seem great. Isaac prayed and God answers. However we miss Genesis 20 v 26:
His brother followed, his fist clutched tight to Esau’s heel; they named him Jacob (Heel). Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
Isaac was 40 when he prayed and 60 when the twins were born. 20 years for God to answer.
Whatever you are praying about remember faith and patience are important.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
My dad and brother were Trawler men. My brother now fishes with creels for crabs and lobsters, but I've never seen anything like this before:
The perfect lazy Saturday.
- Sleep in late, well 8 am.
- Beat Liam at Tiger Woods Golf 08 on PS3
- Breakfast in a local cafe.
- A stroll around the high street.
- Catch up on latest football news on Sky Sports.
- Going to watch MK Dons v Barnet
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 12:26 pm
Friday, January 11, 2008
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 7:04 pm
Tim Stevens from Granger Community church is presently writing a book about pop culture and the church. Imaginatively titles - Pop Goes the Church.
In it he has paraphrased a paraphrased version - the message.
The Message Paraphrase of Romans 12:1-2
“Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering…Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Tim's Pop Culture Paraphrase of Romans 12:1-2
"Take your everyday, ordinary life—going to the movies, watching TV, listening to your XM radio, flipping through the pages of People Magazine—and place it before God as an offering. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, always be looking for God in the culture. You’ll be changed from the inside out. While sitting on the couch surfing channels or listening to the Top 20 on the radio, always be looking for what God wants you to do, who He wants you to be, and quickly respond to it. Don’t let the culture drag you down to its level, but maintain an awareness of God in the culture and keep watching for the next step you can take toward Christ.”Reminded me again to make sure I am relevant in my communication to todays world to ensure this great message of Jesus is clearly understood.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Then Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time! - Mark 4 v 26 - 29
God spoke to me clearly this morning. This time last year we started working with an architect to develop our church facilities. Our church have really got behind the project committing to give £1m even before the initial drawings were available. We put together a great design team and came up with what we feel was a great design. We worked with our city planning team and they recommended the that planning be granted. Just before Christmas the our planning application was refused by the Building Control Committee. Obviously this was a big disappointment to us.
We are now working to address the committee's concerns but its is disappointing and frustrating when you get these types of setbacks. After a day of meetings yesterday this morning I would have to say I was felling a little low and pressurised about the situation. I then read the verse above.
All God asks us to do is plant and wait. We don't understand how it happens but God is at work underground bringing His plan to fruition. When the time is right he will act.
Thank you God. Its great to know that this depends on you and not me. I'm really looking forward to harvest time!
"Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is what you do when you are feeling afraid."
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Bluetree are top of my most played iTunes list at the moment. They are a great worship band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Here is how they describe themselves:
"Worship. Rock. Techno(logy). Three words that don’t seem to fit very easily into the same sentence. Its just as well we aren’t confined to sentences. The music of Bluetree is an experience. This experience may well be loud, bold and energetic. It may also be soft and so quiet you can hear the heart beat of the person beside you. You may be blown away by the powerful thud of the kick drum or the hypnotic wail of the electric guitars. However, if this is all you experience then your time with us may very well have been wasted. Through all the noises and beats, all the melodies and harmonies, what we want you to experience is the overwhelming presence of God. We want you to forget the lights, the stage and the hundreds of people around you. Forget the sound system that is assaulting your body with so much bass you feel like your being punched in the chest. We invite you to lose yourself in worship. Worship of the Almighty. Join with us as we seek first His Kingdom."
There song God of this City is truly amazing. Check it out at their myspace page or better still buy it Itunes here.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 5:57 pm
Yes I know we are already a week into 2008 but this is my first post of the year. A combination of a holiday, a manic lead up to Christmas and a new year spent in my home town in Scotland with no internet access has meant a lean time for blogging. But here we go.
Our special Christmas services were great. Our best attendance on a Sunday so far has been around 750. On the Sunday before Christmas we put on 3 special morning services, including a musical presentation based on the Willow Creek resource - Imagine. We created a bit of a buzz by issuing tickets (helping us to distribute people over all 3 services). We then did an evening service in a traditional Carols by Candlelight style with MK Brass Band. Over the whole day we had well over 1,200 attend our services. Awesome.
Although I was not there a few hundred people showed up for our traditional Christmas Day family service and I understand 5 people gave their lives to Jesus! What better day to start following Jesus, on His day!