Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MKCC Vision

On Saturday evening we began to roll out our MKCC vision statement. Simply:

Bringing people to Jesus, equipping them to be fully devoted followers of Christ.

Here is a video we used to introduce it. Shout out to Ken Wilson of avclub.us who put it together for us.

Everyone likes a winning team

Why is it no matter where you go in the world you see Manchester United football tops. Basically everyone likes to be on the winning side. (Unless you support my 2 teams Aberdeen and Aston Villa - then loosing seems to be a habit.) But the world is full of glory hunters. Growing up in small village 200 miles from Glasgow I used to get annoyed when someone walked around with a Rangers or Celtic shirt when Aberdeen was only down the road. And they called themselves supporters when the nearest they came to seeing them was when they came to play Aberdeen. (Thankfully at that time Aberdeen won most of the time.)

That's why reading 1 Chronicles 12 today it seemed to go against the flow.

We read of some great warriors who were at the top of their game defect and join the perceived loosing side. They decided to leave King Saul, their relative, and join David who was hiding out in a dessert. These guys were the cream of the kings army.

Somehow they saw beyond the present and recognised that God had a plan. The outcome was not certain. They faced hardship & difficulty but they were ready for anything.

It is great when anyone joins your cause at any time but one thing I do know is that the guys that join you in the dark times are likely to still be with you at the end they are most certainly not glory hunters.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Battling ghosts from the past

Last night events conspired to set my mind on a path that I thought I had under control if not left behind.

On a trigger, ghosts from my past flooded my mind and the hurt was as real as I was experiencing them for the first time.

Born and brought up in a good family, on the face of it I had a great start in life. But my sense of inadequacy grew and grew into my teenage years. Nothing huge happened just lots of small things:

  • Weakness and difficulties with my legs in particular quickly signaled me as different.
  • Being painfully thin (wish I had that problem now) brought the derogatory nickname, Spunk (Scottish for a dead match) which I loathed.
  • Although I loved sport my stature meant that I was picked last for every team.
  • This created some destructive ultra competitive behaviour as I couldn't bear to loose at anything. So I was a very sore looser.
  • I felt that my mum, even though she was great, compared me to others and I was convinced in my mind that she would rather have them as a son. (Wrong I know but a real thought)
  • Even when I did good it somehow was not enough.
So last night at the age of 46 I was battling with the same giants caused long ago by careless words of loving people, harsh words of immature people and the isolation of a dark mind.

Today thankfully I have the maturity to bring these under control. I am able to process these things with God's help and get to the right conclusion, just.

In the words of the band Bluetree: Your (God's) love, your everlasting love transforms me. Your grace your unending grace it lifts me.

Meditating on God's perfect love casts out all fear.

Thankfully the Holy Spirit banishes all past ghosts but help him out by jealously guarding the words you say to people particularly the young.

I don't really want to hit publish but that would be giving into the ghosts but I will because I know God uses every experience even the painful ones if we will just let him.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Act out of who you are

I acted out of who I was, not by how I felt. - Ezekiel 20 v 9 (The Message)

God was angry with his people Israel. Instead of being addicted to Him they were addicted (v8) to idols. God was angry and probably within his rights to punish. But the Bible records that he didn't act our of how he felt but out of who he was.

Too often I act out of how I feel.

I feel hurt
I feel embarrassed
I feel betrayed
I feel sad
I feel angry

But Ephesians 1 v 3 - 7 paints a picture of who we ARE no matter how we feel.

I am blessed
I am loved
I am chosen
I am holy
I am adopted
I am part of the family
I belong
I am purchased
I am showered with kindness

Lets take God's example and act who we are.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baptisms are great so why does this photo make me so sad?

My friend and Pastor from 25 years ago posted the above photo on facebook today. I have found myself looking at it many times today. It stirs up all sorts of emotion in me.

By the time this photo was taken, in the early 1980's, I had left my village home and headed off to Bible College. I think I see my twin sisters in the foreground.

As I look at this photo I can't help but think that "we" messed up such a great opportunity to impact so many people for Jesus because of our internal arguments. The local paper suggested there were up to 3000 people in this crowd to watch a baptism service. There were only 1500 people living in the villages of Inverallochy & Cairnbulg, with the majority of them turning up to watch people declare their love for Jesus by getting dunked in the North Sea.

What an opportunity. My take is this. We became obsessed with internal politics and arguments instead of focusing on all the people who needed to know Jesus. Shame on us!

The church was already packed out each Sunday and 1000's turning up to here the gospel at these special occasions like this and we decided to argue with each other instead of defeating the Devil! So the result today is that my home church probably has only a handful of attenders. It makes me sad and angry.

So today I have hung my head a shed a tear and vowed again to remember that people that don't know Jesus are our priority.

Warriors - A new way of counting

Some people seem to get all worked up when we mention numbers around church.

On the negative side I've heard many pastors get into a sort of top trump game with numbers. Attendance, salvations, baptism, offerings, building projects sometimes it seems to be a one-up- man-ship. We should be celebrating with each other not competing with each other on numbers.

Perry Noble did a great post on why we should celebrate numbers here.

Reading Chronicles at the moment it would seem that God was interested in numbers, lots of them!

In the first few verses of 1 Chronicles 7 he records something interesting. He records the number of warriors. in verse 11 they are called "combat-ready warriors".

Now that's a new way of counting.

Count the people around you that are ready to fight by your side for God's kingdom rather than watch.

Count the people who are ready to die for rather than discuss the gospel.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What used to fit in a building now fits in your pocket


Monday, September 21, 2009

Permission to Speak Freely

Anne Jackson author of Mad Church Disease, latest project is nearing publication (Well Summer 2010). The Website which accompanies the book, "Permission to Speak Freely" has just gone live.

The book is based on a post that Anne asked on her blog sometime ago. "What is one thing you feel you can’t say in church?"

The responses were interesting to say the least. Probably best to let Anne explain in this video:

Permission to Speak Freely Resource Video from Anne Jackson on Vimeo.

There are some free resources that can be downloaded including a free chapter of the book.

Take a look

Wise & Foolish Builder

Whilst we have been involved in a series at MKCC called Questions? our Kidz Church is going through a series called "WONDER".

This week they were looking at why bad things can happen to people.

This was based on the story Jesus told about 2 types of builders. A wise one and a foolish one. Here is a short video they put together starring Nicola and Bev.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Skeleton Bones

Love this song.

Open up to the son of Glory dressed in LOVE.

John Mark McMillan - Skeleton Bones from john mark mcmillan on Vimeo.

What do you DO in the face of evil?

I saw this picture over at Deadly Viper the other day.

Words still fail me. Really? It can't be.

A menu for buying sex with a child. Choose your nationality and for loose change take your pick.

It congers up all sorts of emotions.

Someone once said: "All that is required for evil to flourish in the world is for good men to do nothing."

Maybe it is time to do something.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Susan Boyle Comeback

After fame followed by possible breakdown, Susan Boyle makes a come back on America's Got Talent. She may have had some difficulties but their is no denying she has got incredible talent as she sings "Wild Horses".

Seems like a great way to spend $22,000

My friend Roger Blackmore has been church planting in Long Island New York for a number of years.

Their church, churchatthemovies.com, surprisingly meets in a movie theatre each week.

Their vision is to do church in a number of theatres in their region so for the last few months they have been working towards launching their second campus.

For the princely sum of $22,000 they have purchased everything they need to do church in a portable location. PA, video, lights, signs, children's equipment, cafe equipment, literature etc. Rule of thumb for launching a new church campus usually runs into many many more 1000's.

So last week they launched and packed out the screen venue with over 200 on day one. Now for my UK friends who say well that's America. Long Island is far away from the Bible belt and church attendance there more reflects the UK and the 2% of the population that attends church.

They have a great team of committed volunteers who have worked their butts off and God showed up.

Read more about it here & here


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For a Jesus follower there is no such thing as an "Ordinary" Life!

The discovery of God lies in the daily and the ordinary, not in the spectacular and heroic. If we cannot find God in the routines of home and shop, then we will not find him at all. Ours is to be a symphonic piety in which all the activities of work and play and family and worship and sex and sleep are holy habitats of the eternal. - Thomas Merton

HT: Tony Steward

2 red letter days with Jesus

For the last few months I have been following the story of Zac through his blog. He works on staff at NewSpring Church. He was diagnosed with pretty serious cancer. His openness, transparency & incredible love for Jesus through his illness plays out day after day at his website.

He recently celebrated his 33rd birthday which he didn't expect to see.

On Sunday he baptised his 2 boys, Jake 8 & Luke 6.

Then on Monday he went for his long awaited PET Scan results. Here are his words that brought tears to my eyes.

"I am cancer free at the moment and do not have to do any more chemo."

Visit his blog and read the full story here.

I have never met Zac, never even spoken to him (unless you count Twitter) but his life though this illness has been an inspiration to me. He has demonstrated what facing a storm as a Jesus follower is really all about. Yes he had low points, frustrations etc. But through it all he trusted and kept his eyes on Jesus.

I am so happy for Zac his wife and two boys.

Thank you Jesus.

Monday, September 14, 2009

29 Years On

29 years ago this month I started my first full time job at Bradford & Bingley Building Society in Fraserburgh. I think my first years salary was £2500!

I was introduced to making tea, picking up the morning roll from the local bakery, delivering mail to business, filing, the microfiche & more filing.

Well today my daughter started her first full time job as an apprentice Nursery Nurse. Not sure what she will be introduce to but sure it will be interesting and chaotic when kids are involved.

Enjoy Abbie!

I feel old. No I am old!

Hillsong London 10 years

Sunday afternoon I set off for London and the O2 arena with the family to join in the 10 year anniversary celebrations of Hillsong London Church.

As it turned out arriving a few minutes before the the start time was not really the best thing to do. We were greeted with a huge queue. Eventually we got it but I think very soon afterwards the gates closed and hundreds if not a couple of thousand people left outside.

In the end I actually felt like a bit of impostor at a strangers celebration. Yes the music was great but this was really their churches birthday party and as a first time visitor knew nothing of the journey they had taken. The twists, the turns, the challenges the successes so it was a bit weird. I also felt a little guilty that I was possibly taking the seat of a regular attender who had got shut outside!

I am obviously getting a bit older as I actually came away thinking that I did not totally enjoy the church experience in a huge arena like that. I was probably as far away from the stage as you could be and as high up as is possible without meeting Jesus. Or maybe that the large video screen was almost completely obscured by various lighting and pa gantries, but it just felt a bit detached.

It is the first time that I have attended church in an arena of that size and I am sure with much more money sunk into video it could enhance the experience and make it more intimate. However it did make me think a little about it.

This by no means is meant as negative towards Hillsong. Most people would have charged for an event like that. They have done an incredible job for the kingdom in 10 short years and I am sure what God will do in the next 10 years will be equally mind blowing.

Happy 10th Birthday and looking forward to hearing about transformed lives in the next 10 years.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Social Media a fad?

The world is changing right before our eyes and its changing quicker than ever before.

What does it mean to our mission in the church?

Well with more people living now than in the whole of history and them being "connected" (I use connected it its widest sence) more than ever before, maybe just maybe God is up to something.

Cant see the video go here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cool T shirts. Really?

The telegraph recently published a list of the top 20 coolest christian t shirts available on the web. This was followed by the top 20 coolest atheist t shirts. Check them out here and here.

What does it say about me that most of the christian ones would never appear on my body?

The Bishop - National Leadership Forum

T D Jakes

• Take tome time to sharpen the axe when so many are cutting with blunt instruments.
• John, who is always at pains to inform us about the deity of Jesus also tells us about the time when this president of the Universe when alone in a room with his followers for a 5 minutes takes off his coat and becomes a servant.
• Just like Jesus surround yourself with people who are different.
• When you surround yourself with people just like you, you miss the opportunity to check your wisdom.
• Don’t make your decisions on paper but on people.
• It is a dangerous thing to lead an organization that is so traditional that no one thinks outside the box.
• In Jesus ordinariness is his greatness, in his humility is his power.
• How can you give your money to someone called “Made-off” (Bernie Madoff)
• You will never be a great leader till you care about little things.
• What are you doing to serve your generation?
• People love to tell you where they came from. People don’t pay you for where you came from they pay you for where you are going.
• People never follow ordinary.
• Talking about traditions: You got to break a few eggs to make an omelet but lets scramble them up and get it on.
• If you surround yourself with people who do the same as you. They will compete with you and not complete you.
• You will want in your life a FEW confidants. They are FOR you no matter what.
• If you do not have a confidant you will be like a boiler with no valve about to explode. Then you will end up exploding in the arms of a prostitute in a hotel room.
• Understand the difference between a confidant and a constituent. A constituent is not for YOU they are for what you are for. But if a faster car comes along they will leave you even though they have taught them everything they know.
• Be careful when leading people who are comrades. They are with you because they are against what you are against. Once the fight is over they will leave.
• If you give me a mike and a crowd I could tie you up a long time!
• What is it about service that God Himself found fun?

Erwin McManus - National Leadership Forum

Erwin McManus

• God was thinking about Jeremiah long before his mum and dad were thinking about him. Jeremiah was designed and his life scripted by God the ultimate designer with unlimited creativity.
• There has never been an ordinary human being born so why do so many ordinary people die?
• He sent the Holy Spirit so young men could see visions and old men could dream dreams. The church should be a movement of dreamers and visionaries.
• I’ve never seen anywhere who creates less self aware people than the church.
• Many people are pursuing dreams that are not a fit for their life and there are other people whose dream is a fit but think that it will just happen so they do nothing towards it.
• Much of our leadership training is training people to do the job we want them to do rather than helping to step into their dreams and potential in God.
• You don’t have to tell a child how to dream big.
• You are supposed to live a life that reflects the dreams of God, a life extracts your greatness.
• Don’t confuse what it means to have greatness with what it means to be famous. Being famous is what we do for ourselves greatness is what we do for others.
• All my dreams were buried under the rubble of my failure.
• I wonder if there is a side to you that people call dysfunction that God calls talent.
• What dream is waiting for you at the other side of your fear?
• There are things in life that you can not do for yourself things that only God can do for you.
• It is better to die trying to follow your dream than living an ordinary life.

Get his book on Wide Awake.

Craig Groeschel - National Leadership Forum

Craig Groeschel

• Some churches have IT some churches do not have IT some churches loose IT.
• People look at LifeChurch.tv and think they have all this technology so that’s how you have it. We started in a little garage with the only technology an OHP and we saw lives transformed.
• We have a number of campuses. They all have similar buildings, technology, music, message but some are growing and some are not. Some have IT some don’t.
• What is IT?
• IT can not be taught but IT can be caught.
• Contributing factors to IT: A crystal clear burning hot vision, a lazer focus, willing to fail, a kingdom mindset, the leaders have IT.
• Many churches have a vision statement on the wall but no vision in peoples hearts.
• When you think you have communicated vision enough you have only just started.
• Level 1 of vision buy in: I believe is the vision to benefit me.
• Level 2 of vision buy in: I believe in it enough to contribute to it.
• Level 3 of vision buy in: I believe in it enough to give my life for it.
• If you want to reach people for Jesus that no one else is reaching you have to do what no one else is doing. To enable you to do that you have to stop doing what everyone else is doing.
• What can you be the best at in the world.
• Failure is often the first step to success.
• What has God called you to do that you are afraid to try.
• If you are threatened by the church down the street then there is something wrong with your heart.
• If your church does not have it maybe you are playing for the name on the church rather than for person who died for the church.
• When you have IT you are willing to share it.
• Sin is like a sneeze. It feels good coming out but there is snot everywhere.

Buy his book IT here.

Dave Ramsey - National Leadership Forum

Dave Ramsey

• I feel like a wing in a steakhouse.
• I’ve worked my but off for the last 10 years now I am an “overnight” success.
• When I hit rock bottom it was a splat. When you fall that far you don’t bounce.
• If you just keep going when you do something wrong it gets better.
• Nothing is less common than common sense.
• Nothing can be withheld from a group that is unified. (Gen. Tower of Babel)
• 5 enemies of unity: Poor communication, gossip, unresolved disagreements, lack of shared purpose, sanctioned incompetency’s.
• In your organization negatives should be handed up positives should be handed down.
• In the church we will fry you for being an adulterer but don’t for get gossip is in the same list.
• Its ok to have a problem and frustration but don’t gossip hand it up.
• Gossip is when a problem is discussed with a person who can not solve the problem.
• Conflict is a spiritual gift for me!
• You have to cast a vision 21 times before somebody hears is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tim Sanders - National Leadership Forum

Tim Sanders

• There is enough to go around.
• The proper perspective is worth 50 IQ points
• Scarcity thinking reengineers us to be competitive rather than collaborative.
• When we are trying to get by with less collaboration is the key to success.
• Selfishness originates from a lack of confidence.
• When you live in scarcity other peoples success will add to your unhappiness.
• To move from scarcity you need: Confidence, gratitude & generous till it hurts. (Confidence in God, gratitude for what he has done & driven to generosity because of that.)
• Suffering is a choice pain is a reality.
• Readers are leaders and the future is in books. (One particularly its called the Bible so read it!)
• When I see someone struggling with his attitude at work I believe they have lost their gratefulness.
• When you are suffering with the mutters and ungratefulness write down 3 things that you are grateful for in that role. That will be your shield of gratitude.
• You don’t HAVE to do things you GET to do things. You just need the right perspective. You don’t have to go to work you get to go to work.
• If you are worried go and find someone who is more worried than you and help them.

When you are attached to the vine (Jesus) you have the potential for abundant life. - Ken Blanchard.

Patrick Lencioni - National Leadership Forum

Patrick Lencioni

• To be “successful” we not only need to be smart we need to be healthy.
• Your family is the most important “organization” in your life. (note to self: Yes even the church)
• Make sure you do the “Basic” things right then let the rest just happen.
• Understanding your vision and values gives you courage to pass up opportunities.
• Define your CORE values: If everything is important then nothing is important.

Bill George - National Leadership Forum

Bill George

• Our world is facing a leadership crisis.
• Our current financial crisis is not an act of God it is a result of failed leadership.
• Everyone of us are leaders how are you using your leadership gifts.
• Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson
• Most people are not looking for wealth they are looking for meaning and significance in their work.
• One of the toughest things about leadership is getting people aligned around a common mission and value.
• Old notion of leadership is I am leader and I have power over you. Our job as leaders is actually to empower other to lead.
• We are called to be servant leaders.
• Great leaders collaborate. You can not solve the huge problems on your own.
• We don’t need just a few great leaders we need millions of leaders.
• What is it in your story that is motivating you to lead?
• Follow your compass (calling) not your clock.
• Leadership is a long journey into your own soul.
• Don’t just talk about your values but practice your values especially in testing times.
• Leadership is inherently lonely so build a support team around you.
• Ask the question: What did you do to make a difference in the world?

Matthew Barnett - National Leadership Forum

• Seek out the welfare of your city.
• I realized that Ministry was not a tool to see how far I could go, but it was how I could help the kids in the neighbourhood find their dreams.
• You need to die to your dreams of success to enter into Jesus dreams for you.
• My church was so rough it looked like a Jerry Springer show.
• If the drug lords of LA work 24 hours I believe God wants to build a church that never sleeps.
• The world knows what the church is against its time the world knows what the church is for.
• Relevance is chasing after a culture and always being one step behind. The church is not called to be relevant it is called to be revolutionary.
• Talking about people in his church: “These guys are saved, but barely saved. If we backslide we gossip. If they backslide they kill you.”
• When you spend your life building the dreams of other God starts doing the impossible.
• We say that people need to believe then they can belong. Jesus allowed people to belong first and then believe.
• If we can just help people to know how big the heart of God is we can change the atmosphere of a community.
• We need the ministry of just showing up in peoples lives every day.
• God does not want the church to be safe he wants it to be dangerous.
• My dream of being a success died and I picked up another dream. One of being a blessing.

Henry Cloud

Today I am watching the National Leadership Forum Webcast. The First speaker is Dr Henry Cloud. Here are some of his thoughts:

• The great leaders are the ones who have not neglected their personal development.
• Your Character will catch up with your abilities and giftedness.
• I am the pooper scooper of leadership.
• Successful people have an ability to build alliances and are competent but they are a dime a dozen. The people who are successful in the long hall all have the character to not screw it up.
• The Bible tends to agree with reality. So you better show up with the whole package not just one trait of good character.
• Character equals the need to meet the demands of reality.
• Character is essential when your competencies and alliances get you to a place where the weather of leadership can pull you apart.
• Character will enable to connect with the hearts of people. Persuasion and charisma is not enough.
• God did not try to persuade us to come up to a higher level the leader came down to meet us and lift us to a higher level.
• Be orientated towards the truth. Being honest is not enough.
• The best leaders say reality (more truth) is my friend and they are always looking for more of it no matter what it looks like.
• Some leaders are fire, aim, ready rather than ready, aim , fire.
• Great leaders know when to let go of things.
• Sometimes character is upsetting people.
• The future of the company is in the 20% shut down the rest.
• Mature leaders don’t go hiding. They go looking for problems because they know that they are what lie between them and their future.
• Great leaders even when petrified cannot woos out because they have a vision.
• You need a vision that will get you out of your comfort zone.
• If you step out of your comfort zone you may find you can do things you never dreamed you could do.
• A leader needs to recognise that its not all about them.


On 10th September 1988 two huge events took place in Milton Keynes.

One starring a certain Michael Jackson being BAD took place in a packed out Milton Keynes Bowl.

The second took place with a few specially selected guests at MKCC.

I married the most incredible girl on the planet.

After 21 years Jacko may have now departed but our love is stronger today than it has ever been.

Looking forward to the next 21 years Nicola.

Thought this song that was number 1 on that day sums up my feelings:

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Half Hearted

The Holy Man became angry with him: “Why didn’t you hit the ground five or six times? Then you would beat Aram until he was finished. As it is, you’ll defeat him three times only.” - 2 Kings 13 v 19

Seems like there is at least one thing that frustrates God hugely. Half heartedness.

In the above story Jehoash who in the past had not lead his people well was being given a second chance. He had been promised victory but was half hearted in his response to God.

God has given us all a second chance and a third, forth etc etc. How come when confronted with God's grace time and time again can we react with such indifference.

A story is told about a soldier, charged with fleeing from the enemy was brought before Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great asked him, ‘What’s your name’?’ Dropping his head, he replied, ‘Alexander’. Alexander the Great grabbed him by the shoulders and said, ‘Soldier, change your conduct or change your name!

Grace is not cheap it demands everything. Everything is not a goal to be reached it is the baseline for entry into His kingdom.

Picture by Kanadiva

Monday, September 07, 2009

How do I live a holy life?

This past Sunday we started our new series at MKCC: Questions? During September we will be teaching on subjects based on questions asked by our church members.

Steve Adkins spoke on "How can I life a holy life?" listen to it here or watch it here.

It was based on questions like the following:

"I've been a Christian for over 20 years & love God with all my heart but why oh why do I keep on sinning?"

I get comfort from what Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. - Phil 1 v 6

Steve son, Dale, closed our service with River by Bluetree:

There’s a river of love that’s here
There’s a river of grace that’s here
You’re invited to come and swim within

Fresh winds are blowing
Fresh winds are coming here
The tide it is rising
And The Spirit is moving
He’s moving

Death to the past its gone
Here’s to a new beginning
Our Gods not finished yet with us
Death to the past it’s gone
Here’s to a new beginning
Your Gods not finished yet with you

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Free Church Resource

For the few people involved in church leadership that drop by here from time to time, Elevation Church have just joined the growing number of churches that are giving away resources they have developed. (well done guys!)

This is a great Kingdom mindset. Below is a link to their site and also a few others:

Elevation Resources

LifeChurch.tv Open

Southeast Christian Church

Open Resources

New Worship Media

Although not quite the same quality we at MKCC have started to offer some of our items for download here.

This saves churches like us a huge amount of time and finance!

One way to get men to pray more

The Telegraph reports that a new Prayer book issued by the Catholic Truth Society encourages couples to pray together before sex. Thinking this is one way to get men excited about prayer!!

So to save you a few quid and to get you started here is the suggested prayer.

The prayer

Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts. Place within us love that truly gives, tenderness that truly unites, self-offering that tells the truth and does not deceive, forgiveness that truly receives, loving physical union that welcomes. Open our hearts to you, to each other and to the goodness of your will. Cover our poverty in the richness of your mercy and forgiveness. Clothe us in our true dignity and take to yourself our shared aspirations, for your glory, for ever and ever.

Friday, September 04, 2009

It's God's Word not ours

2 Kings 9

My readings today brought me to the story of Jehu becoming King of Israel.

The story has a surprising opening. Israel had a King and God was about to announce that this was about to change and Jehu would take charge. Rather important message I think. Demands someone important you would think. A job for the top man. It just had to be Elisha.

Elisha does something crazy he picks a young student to go and deliver this monumental word.

This tells me a lot about Elisha. First and foremost, he recognised that it was not his word it was God's word.

When sharing God's word we are never more than a mouthpiece. So it didn't matter who brought the word. How many leaders today would trust a student to bring a vital word to their church?

This is exactly what Elisha did. He said I am not important in this, I don't need the "glory", I believe in the next generation, I actually believe in the power of God's word rather than my own.

He also told the young prophet after delivering the word to scamper. Deliver God's word and get out of the way and let it do its job.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Give Me Faith

“Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king." - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3 v 17)

Although this will probably never happen to me. Give me Faith like these 3 boys.

GIVE.ME.FAITH. opening video from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

HT: Elevation Church

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Youversion Live

I have been a great fan and avid user of Youversion.com for some time and more recently through the Youversion app for iPhone.

The guys from LifeChurch.tv have just announced a brand new development "Youversion Live" which seeks to leverage that thing we used to call a mobile phone which is now more of a computer sometimes used as an actual phone.

Check out this video where John Saddington and Tony Steward talk about it.

YouVersion Live Exclusive from John on Vimeo.

Can God trust YOU with a blessing

Last night I took the opportunity to watch Perry Noble teach his latest message at Newspring Church.

He recounted the story in 2 Kings 4 about a widow of a man of God who was in debt and on the verge of loosing her sons into slavery. Asking Elisha for help she is told to collect all the jars she could and then pour the oil she had into these jars. Miraculously she kept pouring until all the jars she had were full. Only then did the oil run out.

What she did next helps us to understand the heart of the lady.

She came and told the man of God, and he said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest. (v7)

She took her blessing and brought it back to God and asked what should she should do with it. She asked for help, received it but still was prepared to give it back. Truly amazing!

Can God trust YOU with a blessing.
Can God trust ME with a blessing.