Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The 10 Commandments of Purity

Seems like everywhere we turn marriages are in trouble. Politicians, celebrities, the next door neighbour and yes church attender we here the tragic stories of marriages crashing to an end. Or just as bad people living & suffering in unhealthy marriages.

Next month at MKCC we will be launching a brand new series looking at the subject of marriage and relationships. - Iwantanewmarriage.

Today I read these 10 commandments written by Pastor Ed Young for his marriage.

1. I shall have no other human relationship before Lisa, including our children.
2. I shall remember our date night and keep it holy.
3. I shall honor Lisa on anniversaries and special days so that I may live long in the land the Lord has given me.
4. I shall not take the covenant of marriage in vain.
5. I shall not ride in a car or eat in a restaurant alone with a member of the opposite sex.
6. I shall not travel alone.
7. I shall not counsel a woman with the doors closed.
8. I shall not share the details of our marriage with others.
9. I shall not watch, read or expose myself to sexually explicit shows, books, websites, etc.
10. I shall remember the implications of committing adultery.

Think I still have work to do! I need to get Nicola to remind me the exact day of our wedding anniversary. Man I am in trouble.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Camp Changed My Life

Seth Godin suggested that going to Summer Camp changed his life.

I can also say it did for me.

My cousin Steve Ritchie, now pastor of Fraserburgh AOG ran a youth camp for years - I started to follow Jesus at one of these camps.

Then we got a new pastor - Roger Blackmore and he too us to a camp in England. Great Walstead School in East Sussex will always hold a special place in my heart because my life was shaped there.

  • I was "filled" with the spirit there.
  • I learned to worship God in a fresh way from the heart.
  • God invaded my life.
  • I really started to follow Jesus.
  • God called me to ministry.
Whilst visiting near there recently I went and found the school. Just driving in gate was enough to get the tears rolling.

I was 13 the first time I boarded a bus in Inverallochy to go on what was then a 24 hour trip to Great Walstead. I returned there year after year for about 10 I think. Even volunteering there for a month each year later on.

At 13 my life was never going to be the same. Churches and parents invest the time and money to get your kids to a great camp it could change them forever.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Far from Simple Church

Tim Stevens hits the ball out of the park with his post Hey Church .... I'm just not that into you. Read it here.

He lists some expectations church leaders put on people. What it looks like to be a "good" church member (problem is we the equate this to what is required to be a good christian).

  1. Attend church service weekly.
  2. Volunteer during another service
  3. Attend Bible study or Sunday school or midweek service (whatever brand your church offers).
  4. Serve in a ministry that helps the poor and needy.
  5. If you are a leader (and we know who you are), then we'll have a few more meetings to attend, contacts to make, events to organize and teams to rally.
  6. Attend periodic special events hosted by the church.
  7. Be a great husband or wife and invest time in your marriage.
  8. Oh, and make sure you are involved in men's' or women's' ministry.
  9. Get in a small group and meet regularly.
  10. If you are a man, you must be in a men's' small group for accountability. Otherwise we know you look at porn.
  11. If you are married, you probably should also be in a couples group if you care about your spouse.
  12. Read your Bible every day. Anything less than 30 minutes is probably not enough.
  13. Be a good citizen. Vote and get involved in your community.
  14. Give ten percent of every penny that you make. And give to the special offerings. And give to the kids going on the missions trip. And give to the building fund.
  15. Go on a missions trip. Been on a local trip? Overseas is your next step.
  16. Invest in relationships in your neighborhood and at your workplace.
  17. Invite people to church. Every week. The purpose of that, of course, is so you can get them to church so they can do #1 through #16 above.
Whew!! Don't know about you but I've just failed and I'm not just talking about not attending the Women's Ministry.

Jesus makes being a christian a little more simple (although maybe harder than it sounds)

Love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your might. And while you are doing that love others like you love yourself.

Simple eh?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

God reigns Always

1 Samuel 5 v 1

Even when everything looks disastrous God still reigns.

Israel faced humiliation through their own disobedience and stupidity. Defeated in battle, lost the precious Ark of God, their leader dead. It couldn't get much worse.

But we read that the Philistine god Dragon's statue kept falling down before the Ark of God. No matter how bad it seems God always reigns.

We used to sing a old song in church based on Psalm 97.

The Lord reigns
The Lord reigns
Let the earth rejoice
Let the earth rejoice
Let the people be glad
That our God reigns

A fire goes before Him
And burns up all His enemies
The hills melt like wax
At the presence of the Lord
At the presence of the Lord

The heavens declare
His righteousness
The people see His glory
For You O Lord are exalted
Over all the earth
Over all the earth

Our God reigns
Our God reigns

Going through the motions

My daily readings bring me to an extremely sad story summed up by the word Ichabod a name meaning "The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” 1 Sam 4 v 22

The truth is that God had departed the scene long before the symbol of his presence "The Ark" had been captured.

Leadership had lost its way. One of the first steps on this path was compromise and failure to deal with sin. Eli was a priest, there to represent his people before God & he was one of the last Judges of Israel, there to set an example and give wisdom to the nation in following God.

He was faced with a choice: God or his corrupt sons and he chose his sons. From then on he still had the titles but he didn't have the authority. He was going through the motions.

  • He doesn't seem to say sorry for his sin.
  • God starts to speak to his priest through a boy rather than direct.
  • It almost looks like he left his two corrupt sons in charge of the ark.
  • When his people were fighting he was nowhere to be seen.
  • It would seem that he had just got lazy sitting around getting old and fat. (Not a very nice way for the Bible to remember you - Old, fat and falling out of your chair and breaking your neck)
Eli went through the motions for years and it ended up in disaster for his people in the time of crisis.

We need to deal with sin in our lives, listen to God and act on what he says.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love and rock got a hold of me

Granger Community Church recently started their service with the song below. I am sure not to everyone's taste but I thought it was great. Abbie gave it her approval by saying "Wow that guys brilliant". So maybe there is hope for an old rocker like me.

Don't think we could use it at our 8.30 am Sunday service.

Eruption/Love Found Me from Granger Community on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


"The future is as bright as the promises of God."- William Carey

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. - 1 Cor 1 v 20 - 21

HT: Desiring God

Wait, God intends it for good in 20 years time

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. - Genesis 50 v 20

Joseph said these words around the age of 56. Around 39 years after he had been sold into slavery by his own brothers at the age of 17.

Before he saw his brothers again over 20 years would pass. During that time he served as a slave in a foreign country. Accused of cheating with his masters wife. Put in jail. Forgotten by his colleagues. Missed the death of his Grandad.

Finally at the age of 30 after 13 years of misery maybe just maybe he starts to see something start to happen. He finally is reunited with his brothers and father at the age of 39.

Going through the mess I'm not sure how much he understood. I am sure he had doubts. I am sure he got angry at God. I am sure he asked God many questions.

But it would seem that through all the rubbish he stayed faithful and God was able to accomplish His plan through Joseph.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Come Home

This past Sunday Craig Groeschel said as part of his preach on God is...Father that God the ultimate Father is waiting patiently for His lost children to come home. Thinking maybe today is the day they will come home.

I really don't need any excuse to post a video of Rose Angela of Newspring Church singing. But this says it better than I ever could.

Crushed in Soul.

1 Samuel 1 v 10 - Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried—inconsolably.

Honestly, I am not sure if I have ever been to the place of sorrow that Hannah found her self in, To the extent that her very soul was crushed. The more I read of this account of Hannah's difficulty the more she shines as an incredible woman of God.

We can all do the right things when everything is going well but how do we react when nothing is going right. When the one thing you want more than anything in the world you can't have. You have trusted God he has the power but chooses not to use it.

Things that mark her as a awesome woman of God.

1. She talks to god about it.
2. It was between her and God alone. (v13)
3. She poured her heart out to God. (v15)
4. She talked to God a long time. (v16)
5. After talking it through with God she asked someone else to pray for her. (v17)
6. Still without an answer see went back into the place that was heightening her pain (v18) "Her face radiant"

What an incredible woman and an awesome example to us all.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

God is... Father

This Sunday we welcomed via video Craig Groschel to MKCC. He continued our one prayer series with God is...Father.

  • He spoke about the Father Jesus mentioned in his story about the lost son.
  • Maybe a better name for the story we know as the prodigal son is the lovesick father.
  • Things you never said about our dad's: My dad is more sensitive than your dad, my dad gives better kisses than your dad.
  • The father in prodigal son does what is almost impossible for a dad. He loved him enough to WAIT.
  • Just like the prodigal sons father God is saying maybe today is the day that you are going to come back home. He is waiting & watching.
  • God is a patient father he is also a forgiving father.
  • Immediately on the lost sons return the father took off his coat and put it on the son. Covering his mess so it could no longer be seen.
  • We have a Saviour who loved us so much the he was willing 2 take the punishment we deserved. The punishment for everyone of our stupid sins!
  • Sometimes we think that to be close to our father we have to perform. Our heavenly father is much more interested is us than what we do for him.
Craig told a story about a father who warned his son that is he disrespected his mum again he would be punished with 10 licks of his belt. Sure enough the son did it again. So the punishment was coming. Standing there with his belt ready the dad said to the son, the punishment stands but here is how it is going to happen. You are going to take the belt and you are going to hit me 10 times. I love you enough to make the punishment stand but I also love you enough to take your place. With tears in his eyes the son lashed his father over the back 10 times.

Remind you of anyone?

Friday, June 19, 2009

One Prayer - God is Here

Here is Perry Noble's message from this past weekend God is ... Here.

I wrote a bit more about it here.

You can also download it from iTunes here.

GOD is here on Vimeo.

Join us at MKCC this Sunday for fathers day with Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv speaking on God is ... Father.

Please yourself?

On my daily readings this past few weeks through Judges one phrase kept coming up and it also closes the book.

At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing. Jud 21 v 25

Nowadays I catch myself saying things to my kids that my mum very often said to me. After trying to tell me something was not going to be good for me. Me arguing that it was OK. Finally in frustration she would say: "OK go on then just please yourself."

That's what these guys were doing. It wasn't God's plan to give them a king. God was to be their king and he wanted people to do what was right before him. There can be a huge difference between the two. I have a way of trying to tell myself that its OK to do things because somehow I have squared it in my mind. It is amazing the power that the heart has in making up our minds.

When we start doing as we see fit rather than as God sees fit it spells trouble.

  • That lady at work that you are connecting too because things are not great at home.
  • That porn you are downloading because well your wife doesn't seem interested.
  • That guy you are dating that doesn't know God because you can't find a guy in church.
  • That boss you are ripping up with your work colleagues because he is just not fair.
  • That insurance claim you made up because you needed more money and anyway they can afford it.
  • The sick day you threw when you were not really sick but wanted a day off.
  • That time you hit your wife. Well she was unreasonable, she deserved it.
All these and more are people doing as they see fit. We need to stop, quit playing games and start doing what God sees fit. Not always easy but that path leads to a far better place than pleasing ourselves.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Secretly suffering stress & burnout

I've mentioned this before but Mad Church Disease by Anne Jackson is a must read for church leaders & volunteers. In fact anyone facing stress and burnout. And if you are not read it now and save yourself from the pain.

Anne has been receiving allot serious of questions about the book and she has recorded a video to address these head on. Watch it below. Hint I'm still laughing.

Buy it here or download a free chapter to read.

Building The Kingdom of God

"The city of God is being built, and it is being built one brick at a time. A game with a child, an honest conversation wit a friend, an evening with a spouse, a phone call. An admission. An apology. A disclosure. A small fidelity. One brick at a time." - Nate Larkin.

We need to redefine the heroic especially when the kingdom is at stake.

A kingdom builder recognises that the big thing can only be made out of the the small things being done and done right.

It's time to sweat the small stuff.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Downward spiral - someone shout stop

Today I have been reading strange story in Judges 17 & 18 an account which started with something good but ended up with something disastrous.

It starts with one man's confession and ends up with the idolatry for a huge group of God's people.

Maybe just maybe if someone along the journey had stood up and said this is wrong the destination could have been so different. But instead we have a story of each selling out.

Son confesses to steeling, mum decides to make an idol out of the fact that he had confessed. (Think it is forgiveness we should be celebrating and glorifying not the act of repentance, good though that is.), Son sets up a shrine to the idol, a priest who should have known better puts his own comfort and well being first and joins the party, the leadership of the tribe of Dan asked for guidance from the misguided priest and then they brought their whole army to the false idol.

The pathway to disaster is paved with people who just kept quiet and went with the flow.

Sometimes silence is not an option.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Whose strength?

Judges 15 & 16

The story of Samson is a classic example of how not to handle success. On the face of it he did some great things but with every deed he took another step away from God. He started to believe his own hype instead of believing and listening to God.

He is so wrapped up in himself that he even tells God that it’s about time he got a reward for giving God a victory. (Judges 15 v 18) Man this man is messed up.

It was not that Samson had forgotten about God, he had just shifted the power base from God to him. Belief in his own success had blinded him long before he lost his eyes. Why else would a man of God be caught in the wrong place with a prostitute? Then not recognise the danger of a situation time after time until it was too late.

Samson learned a lesson but the marks of his ego, self-reliance and sin stayed with him till his death.

When God brings success into our lives it is so easy to forget that it was Him that brought it. It's easy to stop looking at and trusting in God and start looking and trusting in ourselves.

If and when success enters our lives lets humbly thank God, celebrate with everyone involved and ask God what’s next? Then do it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Perry Noble @ MKCC

Today we continued our month of joining 1600 churches from around the world for one prayer.

Today we welcomed, via video, Perry Noble. Perry is the pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. I have enjoyed listening to Perry's ministry over the last few years and it was great for our whole church to hear him.

Here are some of the highlights from his message:

  • God is ... HERE.
  • God is as real as the person sitting next to you.
  • If we begin to forget that God is with us we just need to look at the life of Jesus.
  • What blows my mind about Jesus is that he came here. Yes he came here!
  • Jesus has the corner on the supernatural not Stephen King. The virgin birth? You don't know anyone that has pulled that off.
  • The key to a supernatural life is: stop doing it by yourself. Listen to god and go all out doing what he says.
  • Yes @perrynoble said CRAP in a UK church and the world did not come to an end.
  • If we ever feel that God has forgotten you remember just like it killed me to be away from bread on the fatkins diet it breaks the heart of god that he is separated from you because of sin. So he sent Jesus. Just look at the death of Jesus
  • As a Christian we get obsessed with who we used to be and our past but God looks at who he created you to be.
  • Jesus doesn't hold up your mess and rub your nose in it. He cleans it up and deals with it.
  • One of the things we forget as Christians is that we win. We are on the winning team.
  • Sometimes we have to experience pain to understand His provision in life. Sometimes it feels like we are being crucified but resurrection is coming.
  • I'll bet you that Jesus put a cross on the devils forehead to show everyone he messed with the wrong person, Jesus.
If you want to hear more of Perry's ministry you can follow his blog. Watch NewSpring Services online. Visit their web campus (UK Sundays 4:15 pm, 7 pm & 11 pm) . Or download their podcasts on audio or video.

Sharing the Greatest Story

There is a movie about Jesus life called "The Greatest Story Ever Told". I agree it is.

In our churches (and outside) we need to ensure firstly we are telling people about Jesus. No other message will do. Only Jesus can make the difference in our lives. Second we must communicate his story in the best, relevant and most creative way we can. The greatest story deserves the greatest effort.

Sometime I am surprised how boring we can make it.

So I was interested to read this article about how the Church of England is trying to assist their churches in putting on services that harness modern technology and use modern culture to engage people.

Don't always agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury but here is what he said:

"The Bible is full of stories about God communicating through act and sign as well as language ... Far from being bound to communication through clear information economically expressed in words, our society is still deeply sensitive to symbols and inclined to express important feelings and perceptions in this way."

I'm with him.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Health & Safety Calling

I read in the Telegraph the following headline:

Clergy quitting over poorly maintained vicarages, report finds. (Read full article)

Quoting Unite Union for ministers it said that clergy are quitting their jobs because the Church of England is failing to properly maintain vicarages, according to a report. The sited "Severe health and safety issues".

1. I didn't know that ministers has a union! Maybe I'll join.

2. I'm glad that Jesus didn't get concerned about health & safety issues on his mission. His vicarage had no health and safety issues - he didn't have one.

Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head." - Matt 8 v 20

He also faced the ultimate health and safety issue - he was murdered.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Can your God rescue you?

Judges 10 v14 - "Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!"

This is what God's answer to his people when they his people wondered away from him again and again to worship other God's. Even with the incredible examples from their history of God's faithfulness somehow they ended up serving other God.

I think maybe today our God's are a little different but what can take the place of our complete and utter devotion to God:

* Career
* Car
* House
* Money
* Kids
* Body
* Hobby
* Sport
* TV

The list goes on. Anything that takes the place of God.

What do we focus on more than God? What takes our time, talent & treasure? And what would happen if God left us exposed for them to come to our rescue in our time of need?

Don't wait till the crisis hits you in the face to start to really get to know God.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sitting where Angels Stand

We seem to be a little obsessed with celebrity. We even have grades of celebs. A list, B List and wannabe's. Reality TV shows, 24 hour media and the Internet seems to give more and more people the opportunity to be discovered and become "famous".

Nothing particularly wrong with being famous. But fame is sometimes hard to handle. Susan Boyle seems to have had her problems recently others seem to change from nice sane people into narcissistic monsters in front of our eyes.

The internet has now even brought fame to many church leaders. Podcasts are downloaded by the millions, faces and names are plastered all over conference adverts, facebook fans are numbered in 1000's as is twitter followers. Nothing again wrong with that. I love the access to wisdom that all this gives me.

But we must remember that we are only here to bring glory to God. If it ever becomes about our ego and the number of our followers be 10 or 1000 we have missed it. Yes pastors have egos as well.

I loved this post that I read over at Desiring God:

"What's more impressive than standing in God's presence? Sitting—and doing so at the right hand.

An angel said to John the Baptist's father: "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God" (Luke 1:19). That's noteworthy.

But more so is what Hebrews says about Jesus:

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Hebrews 1:3-4)

That's worthy of worship."

Questions ... Questions??

Ever uttered the words: If you have any questions please just ask. That's why I'm here.

You would change your mind with this kid. Your worst nightmare!

HT: Leading Smart

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The real me meets the real you

I am still sad about the news earlier this week of yet another pastor who has messed up morally.

We all need to realise that temptation is real and everyone yes everyone has temptation. Including Pastors. There is nothing new under the sun. My old lecturer Paul Newberry told me over 25 years ago that temptation would come in 3 main areas:

Power, Sex & Money.

He was right then and he is still right today.

We all need to stop hiding behind masks and firstly admit that we have and are facing temptation to someone trusted and close who can stand with us. Someone who really knows you and you interact with very often. Not someone a 100 miles away that can no more hold you accountable that flying air.

Someone you can talk to about your temptation and maybe even sin in the PRESENT tense rather than the PAST PRETENDING tense.

We are in a battle, the battle is common to all and the REAL ME and the REAL YOU can actually help each other.

Update: Actually a pastor called Geoff Surratt said it better than I ever could - Read Here

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

When solution doesn't exactly deal with the problem

The Open Episcopal Church have seen a problem:

"The sense people have to go to places to worship is something their parents did. The churches we work with have got respect for the fact that we're taking the church to places it hasn't been before." YES UNDERSTAND!

"It is a mistake to locate a church as those who gather in a building. There is a large population who have haemorrhaged away from church but regard themselves as committed Christians." OK WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

"THE HOST IN THE POST" - The Open Episcopal Church has come up with a novel way of extending their reach into the community by offering to send people their communion wafers in the post.

The Daily Telegraph reports: "The postal wafer itself is free but there will be a charge for postage and packing - the postage for one wafer costs £2 while postage for 500 costs £10."

Now if you had given me 100 years to come up with a solution for this problem I still don't think I would have come up with that.

God is ... our refuge and strength

This past Sunday we started a brand new series at MKCC - One Prayer. We are joining over 1600 churches around the world to pray, fast, learn and reach out together.

Remember to visit the One Prayer site for daily scriptures, prayers and to join the global community.

Mark did an incredible job on Sunday on the subject God is ... our refuge and strength. He previously uploaded a version of this to the one prayer site but it was the first time he had preached just for the cameras. His preach this past Sunday for our church is one of those you must not miss. So if for any reason you were not able to be here last Sunday watch below.

God is ... Our refuge and strength from MKCCpreaching on Vimeo.

I don't want to be a talking head

James 2 v 14 - Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

I still remember the day when my Grandad and Uncle took me to my first football match. I remember the banter on the 40 mile drive to Aberdeen. As we walked towards the stadium my walk got quicker and quicker. Emerging into the sunshine I was greeted by a wall of colour and sound as I took my seat in the stand. What followed was 90 minutes of tension and pleasure all mixed in together. I was hooked.

I was a supporter, a spectator of Aberdeen FC. My role as a football supporter I have discovered goes way beyond yelling my lungs out on a Saturday afternoon. It's about discussion, debate and argument about anything and everything about the game. Its about opinion and boy do I have them.

One thing though through all my discussion, critique and advice I mask the fact that I cannot play the game. I am worse than rubbish.

Nate Larkin said in his book - Samson & The Pirate Monks - "The Gospel was far away, but we could still see it, analyze it and argue about it."

That does not wash with the Gospel. Learning the right words is a waste of time following Jesus is not a spectator sport.

Disappointed with God

Some adjectives we are afraid to use in conjunction with ourselves and our relationship with God.

Some are ok like:

Trusting, believing, asking, knowing, loving, enjoying, obeying, following & listening, to name a few.

But what about frustration, questioning and disappointment.

I feel more and more that the path to real maturity is paved with as many from the second list as from the first.

Here is a little video with some great characters from the Christian faith that verbalised their doubts and fears. Maybe I'm in good company after all.

Disappointed (With God) from Central Christian on Vimeo.

(HT: Deadly Viper)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Which dead person would you most like to meet?

A survey was recently completed asking Britons which dead person they would most likely like to meet. It surprised me to learn that Jesus was No 1 on the list.

Of the 3000 people polled one in three said they would most like to meet Jesus! Obviously we have got good news - they can! Yet again it suggests that the normal man or woman in the street is a little more interested in Jesus than we His followers sometimes believe.

A spokesman for Primeval 3, who arranged the survey, said: "These results show that Jesus Christ will always be the British Public's 'Superstar'.

Here is the list:

1. Jesus

2. Princess Diana

3. William Shakespeare

4. Albert Einstein

5. Marilyn Monroe

6. Leonardo da Vinci

7. Elvis Presley

8. Roald Dahl

9. Freddie Mercury

10. Martin Luther King

Who would you like to meet?

(HT: The Telegraph)


I am obviously getting old because if this was the only list of the 10 Commandments I had I wouldn't have a clue.

  1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
  2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
  3. no omg’s
  4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
  5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool
  6. dnt kill ppl
  7. :-X only w/ m8
  8. dnt steal
  9. dnt lie re: bf
  10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.

ttyl, JHWH.

Seriously what?

(HT: Church Crunch)


Last night I got an e-mail from my friend Roger to tell me that another pastor has messed up, had an affair and resigned.

I only met this guy once but have been following his progress and that of his church through the Internet - blogs, twitter etc. It's strange how you build up a connection, be it one sided, through just reading.

I'm gutted for him, his wife, his kids, his staff, his church members & his town. Make no bones about it he and his church were making an impact for God. Messed up people were meeting Jesus and the church was growing. Now the people and the kingdom of God have taken another massive kick in the teeth.

He and everyone connected are now living with the consequences of sin, as we all do, every day.

I am sure there will be much said by many people across the web as he lived some of his ministry life out on line, including his resignation letter but I will leave that to others.

I will stick with praying for him, his wife, kids, Church staff and members. When I heard I was reminded of another man who was after God's heart, King David who messed up in a similar way. After being confronted by Nathan and confessing to God, Nathan said something interesting:

“Yes, but that’s not the last word. God forgives your sin." - 2 Sam 12 v 13

I pray that this will not be the last word over this pastor’s life and because of God's forgiveness it does not have to be.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

This Sunday we started a brand new series at MKCC called One Prayer. Over the next 4 weeks we will be joining with over 1,600 churches from around the world to look at the subject: God is ...

Sonia and the musicians did a great job!

Mark did an incredible job bringing the message: God is our refuge and strength. If you missed it listen or watch it at mkcc.org.uk. It will be up tomorrow.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • You've got to know first and foremost that GOD IS. God is saying look at me.
  • God is saying don't down size me don't compact me.
  • Do you not know? Have you not heard? (duh!) God has all the power. Isaiah 40.
  • God is saying I am completely available for you no matter what never beyond our reach.
  • God is strong when we are weak. Nothing comes to my life without going through God first.
  • What do you do when the storm hits. Do you run from God or run to God?
  • He who began a good work in you WILL complete it.
  • God is our strength. You ain't going anywhere if you don't download from God.
  • God is our refuge and he then becomes our strength he helps you get up and start walking again.
  • You don't find God in your arrogance you find him in your total surrender.
  • None of us know what life is going to bring us except: God Is!
  • You may have walked out on him but God has never walked out on you. His grace is sufficient for you, his power is made perfect in weakness.
  • The Lord ALMIGHTY is with US; the God of Jacob is our FORTRESS. Ps 46 v 11 // now how different will we live today with that information?
  • God will sooner empty heaven of angels than leave a saint without defence - C H Spurgeon
Remember to visit www.oneprayer.com for Bible Reading, Prayer & some additional messages.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Being & Doing in Community

Since I was a little boy and first experienced God's love I have always wanted to do great things for God. Not a bad desire. But that's also where the battle started.

For so many years, and even now I relapse, I missed the point that God is more interested in me BEING rather than me DOING.

If I'm not becoming more like Jesus then my doing is going to be holed below the waterline. So my doing is sabotaged by my doubt and self-loathing because of my own internal private warzone. In which I continue to lose and hide, isolated and alone whilst surrounded by people and friends all fighting the same battles but too scared and proud to join forces.

I read this recently in a book called Sampson & the Pirate Monks:

    "I am merely part of a team. I am unique but only in the way that a snowflake is unique. We are different but not easily distinguished. We are ALL composed of the same stuff. We all fall to the ground, and we achieve our most captivating beauty in community."
I am learning two things BEING who God made me to be is more important that what I do. And authentic relationship is not only a key to my transformation to become LIKE Jesus it is also how WE will do great things - Together.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A different slant on surely Goodness & Mercy

One of the ministries that has had a big impact on me over the last few year is NewSpring Church in South Carolina. So much about what they do inspires me. But at the end of the day church is not an organisation, building or even a set of values or vision. Church is people.

Not just about pastors, preachers & leaders but about ever member in the church living their life for Jesus. I have visited there a couple of times and met many of the people but through the medium of blogs and social network sites I can keep up with the comings and goings of many of the people there.

Over the last few weeks I have been praying for Zac Smith. He works at NewSpring Church in IT and has cancer. I read a post by Zac last night that touched my soul.

Zac wrote something that rocked my world to the extent that initially I just wanted to shout no. He talks about a conversation with his friend who told him: “God is not holding out on you, He is holding you.” Then they read Psalm 23 together which Lee later sang in church which affected Zac deeply. You can watch it below.

You can read the whole post in Zac's own words here. Be sure to pray for Zac today.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I'm Back

Things have been a little quiet here on billyritchie.org for the last 10 days. Mainly due to holiday. Guess if I was a real serious blogger I would have lined up some scheduled posts to appear while I was away. But hey i'm just not that organised.

Truth be told I intended to blog when I was on holiday. I even picked a campsite that had free wifi so I could stay connected! Sitting there on the first day looking at my computer screen I though what am I doing so I packed it up for the week and got disconnected. (Well almost. I still had my iPhone and twitter not exactly cold turkey eh?)

So the last 10 days:

  • 1100 miles behind the wheel.
  • 2 transitions through the Tunnel sous la Manche.
  • Umpteen tolls on various French roads.
  • Eurocamp Mobile home in St Jean De Monts in the Vendee.
  • Great French bread and lots of very cheap but nice wine.
  • Lots of sitting by the pool, watching the kids in the pool & a few games of pool.
  • A few French markets.
  • 1 novel - Jeffery Archer and 2 books - Irresistible Revolution and Samson & the pirate monks. (More about them later)
  • Many, many podcasts - Perry Noble, Erwin McManus, Mark Driscol & Matt Chandler.
  • A little bit of footy watching - never mind Man Utd there is always next year and if you get to the final the team might actually turn up.
  • Abbie's 17th Birthday.
  • and a stinking cold for the last few days with my ears hurting with an infection.
  • Laid up in bed on Sunday and Monday
  • Back to work on Monday to 100's of emails!
So that was my holiday how did you spend half term?