Monday, April 27, 2009


“God will not have His work made manifest by cowards.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday with Dave Ramsey

We had a great time at MKCC this morning with Dave Ramsey talking about Biblical Finance, courtesy of Open.

  • Lavern did a great job opening with Phil Collins - I've been waiting for this moment all of my life.
  • Sang a new song for me. The words rocked my world: Hungry I come to you for I know you can satisfy. Jesus you are all this heart is living for
Here are some of my notes from the preach:
  • How many of you have done something stupid with money. My hand up!
  • I've got a PhD in D.U.M.B.
  • Ever blame anyone else when you do something stupid.
  • I met God on the way up. Then I got to KNOW him on the way down.
  • Biblical finance is 80% behaviour and only 20% knowledge.
  • 5 principles of biblical finance. 1. Get out of debt. 2. act you wage. 3. Get on a budget. 4. learn to save & invest. 5. Get the other ones right and you can GIVE.
  • The borrower is slave to the lender. U got to do what u r told. Master card is well named because it becomes your master.
  • I went about the business of having plastic surgery. (cutting up credit cards)
  • To many of us use money we don't have to buy things we don't need to impress people we don't know.
  • You are wise if you save you are a fool if you devour all you have.
  • Debt is not a sin but it is biblically stupid.
  • Save you pizza & cable money and you can solve any retirement problems.
If you missed the preach you can watch it here.

Oh and lastly, don't anyone ever tell me that video teaching does not work in UK. People from #MKCC loved hearing Dave Ramsey today - awesome!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What makes you happy?

Some of these things also make me happy. Can you guess which ones? You may be surprised. (via avclub)

What makes you happy? from Jon Rawlinson on Vimeo.

You Version 2.0

If you have read by blog for any amount of time you will know that I am a great fan of

It is a fantastic on line Bible resource and on line community. They have just launched version 2.0.

Here is the latest from their blog:

  1. A new design: We have given YouVersion a facelift, making the Bible reader the first place you land. Anyone can browse Scripture immediately upon hitting the site, giving people direct access to the Bible with fewer clicks.
  2. Widgetized: The right window pane now contains contribution, daily reading, and journal widgets that can be organized within the pane. See what you want, where you want it!
  3. Tag, Bookmark, and Link: Now found in one area above the widgets, this new location gives you the ability to organize your thoughts and readings without ever having to leave the Bible Reader.
  4. Parallel Readers: Want to see the what two different versions have to say about Matthew 5-7? Now you can compare NIV and The Message without having to grab two different Bibles. It can also be used to read two different languages - read in English on one side and Korean on the other. Or if you want to read the Sermon on the Mount in Mark and Matthew, you can un-sync the parallel readers and browse separately. [keyboard shortcut = control + option + p]
  5. My Page: Take a look at the contributions of those you are following, and see your likes, bookmarks, contributions, and journal entries.
  6. Community Page: A global view of YouVersion user activity, the community page is your place to engage with the YouVersion community. See what people are contributing, liking, and tagging!
  7. Mobile Pages: Access the mobile apps (iPhone, BlackBerry and other mobile devices) through these specific mobile pages. Download instructions and compatibility specifics are found within these pages.

They say seven is a symbolic number… so we’ll stop there, but be on the lookout for much more to come as we turn our attention to mobile, tying in user interaction from mobile to web to give you seamless integration from your mobile device to your home computer or laptop. Also look for an updated in the coming weeks, with the ability to log-in and add journal entries from your phone.

We’re excited to get this update out the door and in your hands! It’s been an exciting few months here at as we’ve spent many hours designing, tweaking and developing this release. YouVersion first launched in September 2007, promoting online Scripture engagement through a community of dedicated users. Our desire was to make the Bible accessible and spur users to engage with Scripture through their contributions of text, links, photos and videos. With the addition of the iPhone Bible app in July 2008 and the Blackberry app in October, it has become evident that YouVersion was experiencing momentum and plans to enhance YouVersion began to fall into place.

We want to take a moment and give praise to God for the awesome opportunity He has given us to further Biblical interaction using the Web! We also want to thank you for the valuable contributions you have made (and will continue to make) to YouVersion. With every contribution, you show that engagement with Scripture is valuable to your spiritual journey!

Join the community today

God has a plan for my life

Saw this picture posted by John Piper over at Desiring God.

When we say that God has a plan for our lives the above picture is not really what we have in mind is it? I'm reminded of the people commended for living by faith. Strange how that phrase seems to have taken on some different connotations nowadays from the people we read about in the book to the Hebrews.

Hebrews 11 v 36 - 39 Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons.37 We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—38 the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.39 Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised.

Am I ready to live by faith in the plan that God has for my life no matter what that is?

Friday, April 24, 2009

When will I learn?

God spoke to me like a ton of bricks this morning.

Without gong into great detail I had to have one of those chats with one of my children last night. Children do some crazy things, its what they do. If you don't agree just spend a few minutes remembering your childhood.

As a dad you are there to help & warn them about consequences and dangers but you are also there to pick up the pieces, care for them and protect them after they do something stupid.

So I had the chat. Didn't I warn you about this? How many time have I spoken to you about it? Don't you realise I am saying these things to help you? I love you more than anyone else in the world. I would give my life to protect you. I don't understand why you choose to ignore the advice of someone who loves you so much for other voices who only want to use you?

Then I read:

Duet 8 v 1
"Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. 3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord . 4 For all these forty years your clothes didn't wear out, and your feet didn't blister or swell. 5 Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good.

I think I need to listen to my own questions and remember that my heavenly Father has the same love for me - why do I so often not listen?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Next Generation

One of the things we are passionate about here at MKCC is making a difference in the next generation. We have invested into our children's ministry with resources and staff.

This past Sunday we held open house on the completion of the first phase of our building project - the extension and refurbishment of our Kidz Church.

Here is a little video we did for the day.

Kidz Church Preview from Billy Ritchie on Vimeo.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Compromise & Disobedience

Deuteronomy 3 v 12 - 29

Reading this passage today I was struck by the two different outlooks to God's mission by people on the same journey.

Their goal for decades had been to go and occupy the land promised them by God. Now standing on the verge of the actually entering into what God had promised them we see 2 different reactions.

The tribes of Ruben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh decided because they liked the look of the great farming land they were in (Suppose anything looks good after years in a desert) decided to bail out on the verge of greatness. They put their own desires in front of God's plan. They didn't walk away from God but they wanted God on their own terms.

On the other hand we read of Moses desperate prayer to God to be allowed to see the fulfillment of his dreams and to be allowed to enter into this new land. But because of past disobedience it was time to pass it on to a new leader.

Time ticks on and I still have not seen at 46 what God promised when I was a teenager. Time may have passed but no matter how long it takes I will never settle down, never compromise for second best and I humbly pray to God every day that my disobedience to Him that can so often crowd my life will not stop me seeing the great things he has promised.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Men & Marriage

This is simply a classic Mark Driscoll message. If you are a man and married, getting married or think that you may get married one day you have GOT to watch this. Watch it here or download it here.

By the way be prepared to be challenged and possibly offended.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting off the Highway to Hell

This is how Newspring church started their Easter service - AC/DC. Wrapped with the message of grace. No one needs to be on the Highway to Hell - Awesome!

By the way 300 people started following Jesus for the first time at their Easter Services. Yes that's 300 trading the highway to hell for the highway to heaven.

HIGHWAY2HELL_JUSTIN from Jiggle Snort on Vimeo.

How are you being fed?

I have often heard it said by people that they are unhappy in their current church because they are not being fed. (in respect of teaching) That is a subject in its self. But in my 35 years as a christian it is not something I have ever said. Maybe I was fortunate in that the Pastor who I grew up with, Roger Blackmore, was one, a great preacher and two an inspirer who encouraged me to study for myself.

I read the Bible, commentaries, books, listened to cassette tapes and traveled to services to hear great teachers. I also had a load of friends who enjoyed talking and debating scripture late into the night.

I learned a great lesson very early on in my christian life. One of the signs of a mature person is that he has learned to feed himself. So I continue to do the same thing I did when I was 12. Only now its much easier. I can now listen to great teachers from around the world without leaving my armchair.

So one of the things I did on holiday was listen to a load of Podcasts. If you are not already making use of this incredible resource then you need to repent, save up & buy an iPod. There are some incredible preachers and teachers giving away their messages on audio and video for free.

Here are a few recommendations:

Mosaic - Erwin McManus
Newspring - Perry Noble
Mars Hill Church - Mark Driscoll
Village Church - Matt Chandler

I would have said Church at the Movies & Roger Blackmore but his podcast does not seem to be updating since Christmas. Come on Rog sort it out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I got back last night after spending the weekend away at my Dad's place up in Aberdeenshire. Internet access has been very limited. My dad has not joined the internet revolution and although there are many very nice cafes and coffee shops they have not discovered wifi to go with your latte. You don't know how frustrating it was for me to keep looking at my laptop and realise that 70% of what I use it for was not available.

Being disconnected from the internet did however help my connection with someone more important- my saviour. Long walks by the secluded sea shore enabled me to do some business with God or should I say he did some business with me.

I love the internet and the world of blogs, facebook, twitter, internet campuses, podcasts and general online community but connection with God still is the thing that I need the most. So enduring an enforced disconnection helped me to tune in better to the connection with my God.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Easter King

Saturday, April 11, 2009

True Grace

“Cheap grace justifies the sin rather than the sinner. True grace, on the other hand, justifies the sinner, not the sin. Let me encourage you not to be afraid of true grace because some have misinterpreted it as cheap grace” -Charles Swindoll

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ignoring God

I'm back home in Inverallochy for a few days break over Easter. So I took my iPod cranked up Perry Noble and headed out for a stroll into the wind by the sea shore. My walk took me to Cairnbulg Harbour and the rocky point stretching out from it which has a beacon at the end of it

There for all to see is the fishing boat the SOVEREIGN which crashed into it back in December 2005.

I don't know how long there has been a warning beacon there. I know the harbour was built in 1920 but suspect that in one form or another a warning light has been there for a long time. Yet a local boat that must have passed it 100 times crashes into it.

God clearly spoke to me:

  • Always listen for the voice of God even in your comfort zone its there that you need it the most.
  • When God speaks don't ignore it, its for your own safety.
  • Even when God says the same thing over and over again its probably because you still need to hear it.
  • God's warning can sometimes be for things that you would not otherwise see till its to late.
  • Our biggest dangers can very often be when we are close to home, we take our guard down and stop listening to God.
  • If we start to think we are sovereign and forget that God is SOVEREIGN then we are heading for disaster.
  • If we stop listening to God and obeying his voice the wreckage of our lives can be around for all to see for a very long time.
  • Maybe not the most inspiring piece of advice but felt God say: Please would you learn from other peoples crazy mistakes.
Psalm 119 v 105 - Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Numbers 27

How would you feel if you had worked and grafted for years towards a goal only to see it taken away at the last possible moment? You have had to put up with all sorts of hardship, pressure and criticism but you were willing to endure it all in the name of God. After all it was Him that gave you the mission. You have remained faithful to everything he asked you to do almost down to the letter.

We there was one little slip up. You had become frustrated with the people you were leading because they were complaining yet again. God told you to speak into the situation and you hit out instead. And because of that the thing you had been working towards, God's mission for you, you were going to miss out on the verge of the fulfillment.

Annoyed, disappointed, angry or bitter would describe how I would feel. But Moses facing this obeyed God and facilitated the transition to a new leader that would take the prize and the next step.

Joshua was the perfect example of a leader in waiting. He served Moses the current leader faithfully. He kept his attitude right. He didn't lead a revolt. He waited for God's time and he kept himself full of God (v18)

Because Joshua kept himself right before God he was able to lead God's people to a new place. If you aspire to lead do it the Joshua way.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Church Where its OK to Not Be OK

Thanks to DV

That's Easter

Watched a couple of great videos by St Helen's Church in London about Easter. Here is one.

THAT'S EASTER Death to Life from St Helen’s Church on Vimeo.

Check out the other one here.

Message v Messenger

The message is far important than the messenger.

In the story of Balaam told in Numbers 22 - 24 we find that God uses a donkey and a man to convey his message. He gave the donkey the ability to speak to help Balaam understand what was going on. That is amazing in its self but the fact that Balaam has a conversation is more amazing. I think I would have run a mile if a donkey started speaking to me.

Then God uses a man who is practiced in divination (Num 24 v 1) to speak his message. Not a great CV for someone to become the mouthpiece of God.

It just reinforces to me that the message is the important thing. Sometimes just sometimes we can get a little obsessed with the messenger. In my Pentecostal background we very often venerated the prophet as some guru. But we can also make stars out of our preachers of today.

Don't get me wrong I love listening to great communicators and want to be better myself. But always remember when something from a message brings a tear to your eye, encouragement to your heart, a challenge to you ways; it is not the wise words of the mouthpiece in front of you.

But the Holy Spirit at work confirming His message to your soul.

Monday, April 06, 2009 Milestone has revolutionised my Bible reading in the last couple of years. I had slipped out of really sticking to a regular plan. Yes I read the Bible often but mostly for study, preparation and preaching.

When YouVersion launched on the web I loved it. I tend to spend much time on my lap top and now I had the Bible with a ready made plan that opened infront of me everytime I switched on my Mac.

Then the iPhone app came along and it is amazing. Here is a copy of a post from their blog a few days ago:

Yesterday, YouVersion passed one million unique users on the iPhone/iPod touch through the YouVersion Bible App. Since the launch of the Bible App users have spent 407,000,000 plus minutes engaging with God’s word!! Wow!

I’m gonna let that number soak in for a second.

407,000,000 minutes = 326,388 days, 21 hours and 20 minutes of Bible engagement.

Our excitement stems from our desire here at to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. From the start YouVersion’s purpose has been to open new doors to help people connect the Bible to their daily lives. At the core, our focus remains on relevancy as we consistently strive to demonstrate and teach people how God’s Word relates to everyone, no matter where they are in life.

YouVersion isn’t just a tool to impact the world using innovative technology, more importantly, it promotes engaging people into a relationship with God as they discover the relevance the Bible has for their lives. So thank you for spreading the news, twittering, and blogging about YouVersion. We are looking forward to many more minutes of Scripture engagement as we all strive to become fully devoted followers of Christ.


Cursed or Blessed

Numbers 22 & 23

In these chapters God's people face a new enemy who is scared out of their mind that Israel are coming. So Balak decides to leverage all his wealth to get them cursed. So he calls on Balaam who clearly had a reputation for this type of thing (v6) and offers to buy a curse.

Over the next couple of chapters we find that Balaam's task is impossible because God has already blessed His people and he is not going to permit a curse.

Strikes me that many Christians I meet and talk to are afraid of our enemy the devil. Yes he is real. He is angry. He does not like God's people but he is scared out of his mind that God's people are coming.

As a Christian I belong to God. I am the apple of His eye. I am in the palm of His hand. I have no need to fear the devil. I am blessed and God will not permit me to be cursed.

Now its time for us to terrorise the enemy with our leader Jesus by our side.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Easter speaks

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.” - Clarence W. Hall

The Greatest Love

God invaded my world today while singing the Hillsong song: Till I see you. It opened with the following line:

The greatest love that anyone could ever know
That overcame the cross and grave to find my soul

We live in a world that is obsessed with love. We sing about it. We write about it. We worry about ever finding it and fret over loosing it.

Today we stand at the start of a week when we will celebrate the greatest act of unselfish love the universe has ever seen. That Jesus went to the cross and died in my place taking my sin on Him.

The chorus says:

I will live a child in awe of you.

I never wanted to grow up and loose that sense of awe.