Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ever wondered what FlexiDry was? You do now.

Check out a write up on MKCC from the Sub Contractor who put down the floor screed in our new Coffee Shop and foyer. Don't really understand a word of it but at least you now know what you will be standing on when you visit. Check it out by clicking the graphic below.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do I really want God to raise His voice?

I've been thinking a lot recently on cultivating the art of listening to God. But not just listening for the joy of hearing from God. Listening to help me become more like God.

Listening helps me to understand more about God's character, His desires for me and others, what makes Him tick. It's amazing how I miss the boat on that one. I've been running hard, with passion, determination and diligence only to realise when I actually take time to check in and listen maybe the essence of what I am chasing and what I pursing is not what God had in mind.

Discovering again that we simply have to pursue God makes everything less complicated. But it always surprises me how long it takes for me to REALLY listen to what God is telling me.

Job lists some incredible things about God that blow your mind. Then he says:

And this is only the beginning,
a mere whisper of his rule.
Whatever would we do if he really raised his voice!
No Place to Hide - Job 26 v 14

Thinking I really don't want God to get to the point with me where he has to raise his voice with me.

Everyone has a story are you too busy to notice.

I found this video very challenging. Too think it's produced by a fast food company. It speaks deeply to my heart as a Christ follower. If a fast food company want people to take time to read other people story then maybe, just maybe, Jesus wants me too as well.

Every Life Has A Story - Chick-fil-A from Dan T. Cathy on Vimeo.

Never giving God a Second Thought - Guilty

When faced with what would be the first of 10 catastrophic events to happen in his country the Egyptian Pharaoh didn't want to listen. God was trying to get his attention when he changed the water in the river Nile to blood. When faced with this situation the Bible records that Pharaoh:

"....turned on his heel and went home, never giving it a second thought." - Ex 7 v 23

Well what would you expect from a godless king. Why would he listen to God? His question probably was "Is it God?" after all his own magicians could repeat the "trick".

I on the other hand am a follower of Jesus. I have God the Holy Spirit living inside me to be my comforter, teacher and guide. But so often I hear him speak and I turn on my heel go home and never give it a second thought. So what is the difference between me and Pharaoh. He didn't believe in God and lived like he didn't exist. I believe in God but so often live like he doesn't exist.

How often has God spoken to me. On Sundays at church through a song, through a preacher or even through a prophecy or word of knowledge. Or in my daily readings. In my prayer times. Reading a book. The list goes on.

The Word of God is not scarce, it's my obedience that is on the endangered list.

This verse has been rocking my world at the moment and I am trying to do it daily:

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. - 2 Corinthians 13 v 5 (Message)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Logging off to Log On - Try It!

It's been quiet here for a few days. I've been on holiday in France for a week. Believe it or not I actually choose the campsite I went to because they actually provided free WiFi. After logging in on day one I thought it was time I logged off.

So I spent most of my break, reading. I had chosen 3 books to accompany my Bible and I am so glad I did. It was like tuning into the megaphone of God all week. God talked to me about some deep personal stuff.

I dare you to read any one of these books:

Plan B

Christian Atheist The HB

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

But I think this prayer by A W Tozer sums up my thoughts and will now be my first prayer everyday.

"Oh God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made ME thirsty for more. I am painfully aware of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee: I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long." - A W Tozer

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Building altars of gratitude

Was reminded today that Abraham continually through his life built altars of gratitude and thanks giving to mark God's faithfulness to him.

Check out Gen 12 v 7; 12 v 8; 13 v 18.

Abraham found a way to continually remember: "God is with us." - Jeff Henderson

So I decided to just note down a few times where "God has been with us" during our building project at MKCC.

  1. A "chance" conversation when we thought that the land adjacent to MKCC gone to someone else that suddenly brought a new possibility to us.
  2. A plot of land valued somewhere in the region of £1.5 million made available to us for £10,000. This is actually less than what MKCC paid for our original site 25 years ago.
  3. The turn round of our application for planning that was originally turned down almost unanimously by committee to being approved unanimously.
  4. The miracle of £1 million being pledged and given by the ordinary members of MKCC. Not by any huge one off gift but by many people making equal sacrifices before God. (And the money has now been spent).
  5. A further £300,000 being pledged over the next 3 years to assist with mortgage payments. The exact amount the bank wanted to see.
  6. A contractor agreeing to do a design and build project with us for no more money than we could have self managed the project ourselves. Saving us a huge amount of time.
  7. It is easy to forget God's faithfulness.
I am sure there will be further challenges ahead but as Pete Wilson says in his book Plan B:

"If you don't remember God's past faithfulness, you're going to have a hard time trusting him when you're up against the wall."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Gospel Message: Come and Die

Sometimes I struggle with the message we communicate to people when inviting them to come to Jesus.

When Jesus called his disciples he didn't promise them much other than "trials" & "persecution" in this life and eternity with Him. Nowadays we seem to want to promise much more. The extremists promise: perfect health & financial wealth.

Bonhoffer said: "When Christ calls a man he says come and DIE!"

Today I was reminded about the first of Jesus followers, Andrew. He travelled the world preaching the Gospel and seeing miracles in places like Greece & Russia. However in the middle of revival he was crucified with 20,000 converts looking on. Not our definition of revival!

Seeing himself as unworthy of facing the same death as his Saviour he was crucified on an X shaped cross upside down. He was tied to the cross so he would live and suffer longer. He is recorded as having said:

I would not have preached the honour and glory of the cross if I feared the death of the cross - St Andrew.

Would I really give my life? When sometimes I don't give my time, sometimes I don't give my talent and sometime I don't give my treasure.

Come and enjoy is popular and draws a crowd. Come and die does not have the same appeal and captures the few.

God help me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

7 months in 3 Min 50 Seconds at MKCC

There have been a lot of changes around MKCC in the last 7 months. Take a quick look at some of the changes in our facilities.

Latest Photos from MKCC New Build

Here are some of the latest photos from our new build project at MKCC.

Looking down from the exit which will lead towards Kidz Church. This will be a seating area for our coffee shop along with access to small conference rooms. They are being punched through into our existing building on the left. In the distance you can see the doors leading into the Auditorium.

Close up of 2 of the doors being knocked through into the conference rooms.

Lighting detail which goes round the perimeter or the auditorium and will throw a ribbon of light against the walls.

A little shaky I know. But its not the auditorium moving its my bad camera work.

Preparing the roof for the finished plasterboard to be added to the underside.

More info at MKCC

Death in the Grave

John Mark McMillan is responsible for the most amazing song "How He Loves".

On his new album being released in July 2010 - The Medicine - He has the song: "Death in the grave". Its a great anthem of the ressurection.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Sun and moon from balcony
Turned their head in disbelief
Their precious Love would taste the sting
disfigured and disdained

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with keys
Of Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let my glory fade away, have Your way

Andy Cherry // Have Your Way from Jon Muedder on Vimeo.

Andy Cherry Website

Monday, June 14, 2010

I don't know but God sure does.

Four weeks ago a young lad looses his dad to cancer.

Today he tells his mum that God has something big in store for him. In answer to his mums question of what he thought that would be he says:
“I don’t know but God sure does. And it will be huge. I can feel it in my heart.”

Faith like this stops me in my tracks, it astonishes me. It remind me of the time when Jesus was surprised by faith. Matthew 8 v 10 ff records that Jesus was taken aback by the faith of a Roman Captain. He saw an example of faith where he least expected it.

I don't know what is next in my life, I don't know what is next in your life BUT God sure does.

Tonight I am praying for myself and also for Luke that God will use this young man in an extraordinary way for His purposes. I am sure he will as if he can place that amount of trust and faith in Jesus in what must be the most difficult time then maybe tonight God has been taken aback again.

Read more.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

To Inspire or To Influence

Read a great post over at "Real Life. Weak faith. Perfect Saviour." about the difference between Inspiration & Influence.

You can read the full post here. But here are some quotes.

"Inspiration is like a nice breeze on a hot day that feels good for a minute then is forgotten the next time the sun hits your face. Influence is like a hurricane whose impact is talked about for generations.

Inspiration is a good sermon that we love while hearing it and then forget by the time we reach the parking lot. Influence is the one thing somebody said to us years ago that we cannot forget.

Inspiration’s greatest achievement is name recognition for a season and then nothing. Influence’s greatest achievement is a legacy that builds in strength over the generations to come. "

Man I wish I was that smart, thanks Shane, this will keep me thinking for a while

Friday, June 11, 2010

The beginnings of a Coffee Shop watch out St R Bucks

This week the old bookshop area was demolished at MKCC and the area is now being prepared to house our Coffee Shop servery area.

Looking down one wing of the foyer which will house some soft seating. In the distance you just see the rear entrance / exit of the facility.

Looking down the other wing of the foyer which will house tables and chairs and in the distance you can see the exit to Kidz Church.

Here is a short video shot by Steve Adkins on his phone. He is laughing so clearly he is enjoying himself.

Building the Coffee Shop from Billy Ritchie on Vimeo.

Between the promise and the pay off there is a process

Our Story: Wade Joye from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

There is something missing in this years World Cup

The day has finally arrived. The World Cup is starting today.

But there is something missing, been missing for the last few World Cups: - SCOTLAND.

So here is a trip down memory lane to "Ally's Tartan Army"(1978), with the classic line in it:

"England cannae d it, cos they didna qualify!" - Those were the days.

This is my prayer in the fire

The last few weeks have been difficult. Nothing bad has happened on the outward front but internally I feel like I am having a bit of a battle. Mostly with my self.

This verse of the Desert Song by Hillsong sums up my prayer to my God at this time.

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I feel weak. I need refining. But its tough in the flame.

But as the song says "I will give praise."

Love this video by London from Elevation church

Our Story: "Desert Song" from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If you lack FAITH you are in good company

I am so glad that God chose to tell the story of Job in His Word. Not because its the easiest book to read it certainly isn't. But it is a gut wrenching honest warts and all journey of a man through some amazing difficult circumstances.

Through his discussions with his "friends" we get the opportunity to see some of the battles that are going on in his mind trying to answer that elusive question - WHY? It is a question that can have you searching in some dark places and asking some pretty tough questions.

Job 23 is a classic example. He starts out ready to face up God and tell him what God was doing to him (Wrong assumption) was not fair.

God has no right to treat me like this— it isn’t fair! -v1

I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way.
I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it. - v 11 & 12

His religious mind told him that he DESERVED better.

Then in v13 he argues with himself by saying:

But he is singular and sovereign. Who can argue with him? - v 13

And he ends the chapter totally confused.

I’m completely in the dark, I can’t see my hand in front of my face. - v 17

Somehow we see doubt and questions as bad in church. We seem to want to fast track people to "faith". In the words of the song: "Its the climb, keep the faith." By facing up to our doubts and questions and wrestling them through with God we will arrive at a refined faith.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Real Life. Weak Faith. Perfect Saviour

I subscribe to a number of blogs through Google Reader. So every day I log in to find lots of new entries. Many which I just speed read to find anything of interest. Others I read more closely because I know they will more often or not help, challenge or encourage me.

So today I got a huge surprise after over a year of silence a feed popped up by Shane Duffey. Honestly this guy gets under my skin and provokes me to change and grow. I had the opportunity to meet him & his wife and he is an amazing guy.

He has huge wisdom and you should ensure you have a note pad handy if you speak to him but more than that he is authentic & humble. A man of character.

The new title of his blog "Real Life. Weak Faith. Perfect Saviour" reflects him well. Check it out.

When a stutter becomes hope

You would think when God speaks we would act.

Reading today in Exodus 6 it seems to be a questioning God and His word.

The people of Israel were in such a bad place that their spirits were broken and even when God sent a message of hope to them they were in no place to hear what he was saying.

Then Moses on a direct word from God continues to tell God he is not the man. It was confirmed because the people had not listened to him and anyway he reminded God twice that he stuttered.

Reading it makes me laugh because in the cold light of day the facts were that it was no surprise to God that Moses stuttered. It was not breaking news.

But Moses was only doing what so many of us do. Look at our own weaknesses instead of the Omnipotent all powerful God. One thing is for sure whatever your "STUTTER" is God knows all about it so we need to stop hiding behind it and stop ARGUING with God and start OBEYING Him.

Take a chance and even if it takes you 5 minutes to force out a few faltering words, do it, and watch God show up and turn them into a beautiful psalm of hope,

Monday, June 07, 2010

One Prayer Kick off

On Sunday at MKCC we began One Prayer at MKCC.

One Prayer is the initiative of and it seeks to be a vehicle to bring the church at large together. So we joined with over 1000 other churches around the world. During the next four weeks we will listen to pastors speak on the subject: Unstoppable!

In the next weeks we will listen to our own Pastor Mark and also Steven Furtick from Elevation Church, Charlotte NC & Brian Houston from Hillsong, Australia through video talking about the Unstoppable Church.

This week we started with Craig Groeschel of preach on Unstoppable COURAGE. He said:

  • The path to your greatest potential is often straight through your greatest fear.
  • What is it that God has called you to do and you are not doing it because of fear. Write a book, start a business, go on mission?
  • Too many of us spend our lives looking at the lions (our fears) rather than looking at our God
Craig also referenced a book by Mark Batterson that would be a great read to follow up with; In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars

It was also fantastic to hear that since One Prayer started 2 years ago, through the generosity of One Prayer churches, over 1600 new churches have been planted!! Read more

You can watch the message here:

Friday, June 04, 2010

It's not over and don't let anyone tell you that

Yesterday I posted news that Ted Haggard had decided two start a church less than 4 years after his spectacular fall from "grace". Interesting thing is that I know many people in the church think he shouldn't. That he is blown it for good. So some of us hate the story because he has gone too far.

However watch the video below about Elisa's story. After 3 abortions, 1 affair & a divorce she was convinced that she was too far gone. "It wasn't so much that I didn't want anything to do with God, It was that I thought he didn't want anything to do with me."

Second Chance_Elisa Thurston from Cross Point Church on Vimeo.

HT Pete Wilson

It is amazing to me that one story of grace has me flooding tears on to my keyboard of my keyboard looking rather stupid sitting in McDonald's. The other, even for me a pursuer of God's grace, deep in my heart leaves me questioning.

Help me God to discover more of your grace and give it away.

Their Names Liveth For Evermore

America has just marked Memorial Day and over the last week or so here in the UK and France we have been remembering the 70th Anniversary of Dunkirk. Remembering the heroism of so many in giving their lives to ensure our freedom.

So I came across this post by Mark Batterson titled " Memorial to the 12 Apostles". Where he lists the sacrifice of the 12.

James the brother of John was killed with a sword during a persecution initiated by King Herod in AD 44.

Andrew was hung on an olive tree around 70 AD.

Doubting Thomas was thrust through with pine spears, tortured with red-hot plates, and burned alive around 70 AD.

Philip went to Phrygia where he was tortured and crucified in AD 54.

Matthew was beheaded sometime after 60 AD.

Bartholomew was flayed after he refused to recant. After the removal of his skin, he was crucified in 70 AD.

James the lesser was taken to the top of the Temple where a crowd gathered. When he refused to recant, he was thrown down. He survived the fall so a mob beat him to death with clubs in 63 AD.

Simon the Zealot was crucified by the governor of Syria in AD 74.

Judas Thaddeus ministered in Mesopotamia where he was beaten to death with sticks in AD 72.

Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, went to Ethiopia and was stoned to death while hanging on a cross in AD 70. According to Eusebius, the third century historian.

Peter thought himself unworthy to die in the manner in which Jesus was crucified so he requested that he be crucified upside-down.

John the beloved is the only disciple who died a natural death, but that doesn't mean he was exempt from persecution. He was exiled to the Island of Patmos and according to legend, thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil.

ONE out of 12 was not martyred!!!

World Net Daily says that in the year up to June 2009: 176,000 believers were martyred for their faith in Jesus. 482 per day or ONE every THREE Minutes.

Humbled & challenged

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Ted Haggard starts new church

About 3 and a half years ago the preverbial poop hit the fan when Ted Haggard's double life became public. Today he announced he is starting a new church.

In some ways I am totally unqualified to pass comment as I really know nothing about him apart from news reports. But I am a captive to grace. I have no option but to trust in grace.

Radical Grace has impacted my life and I am compeled to believe it is the most powerful force in the universe to effect change in someones life. When we as flawed sinners come face to face with unrelenting grace, and realise its huge cost in the Godhead, gratefulness and humility produces change where our own feable efforts at morality have failed.

I realise many will not agree. But I choose to not throw stones and believe in grace.

Click here to view video

Gifts we all benefit from

The Holy Spirit gives us GIFTS which we use for the common good of all believers.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. - 1 Cor 12 v 7

The Greek word used in the New Testament that is translated Spiritual Gifts is Charismata. The literal translation is "Gifts of Grace".

This in my view is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about Spiritual Gifts. Use of Spiritual Gifts does not say anything about a persons spirituality, it says everything about God's grace. He chooses by grace to work through flawed individuals to bring the supernatural to mankind.

Too often in the church we get the this mixed up. We elevate people instead of the Holy Spirit. We transfer greatness to the conduit instead of the power source. Yes in the cold light of day we would never seek to do that but we do it be our actions all too often.

The gifts are given not to make us look good, they are not even primarily given to make God look good (He already is) they are given for the COMMON good of all followers of Christ!

Remember that WHATEVER gift God has chosen to give you it is for OTHER peoples benefit.

View series

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Carlos Whittaker at MKCC

You're the God of Second Chances, You're the God that still romances.

A quick glimpse of Carlos singing this amazing song at MKCC.

Carlos Whittaker at MKCC from Billy Ritchie on Vimeo.

Pick up the mp3 here.

Forgotten God - The power and the person

The fruit of having the Holy Spirit in our lives produces strong beautiful character in us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. - Gal 5 v 22 - 25

I was born and brought up in a Pentecostal Church. I went to a Pentecostal Bible College and volunteered and served in a Pentecostal church. So for all my life I have been part of a church experience that has very much believed in the power of the Holy Spirit.

So the Holy Spirit showing up in power in situations for healings & miracles has been believed in and desired. To be frank I wish he had "showed up more" but I can't deny he has "shown up" in power.

But also I can't help but feeling that sometimes we pursue the miracles rather than the person of the Holy Spirit. Pursuit of the miracle may alter someones life but pursuit of the person will mean a drastic change in us. It will mean a change in our character, not through our self imposed efforts to be better, but by the natural growth of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

To be used as a conduit to pass on one of the Spirits Gifts is one thing but a life lived in the Spirit is, as Paul puts it, keeping in step with the spirit every day we live.

View series.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Orchestration of Salvation

Recently we finished a series at MKCC called "The Catch" exploring how God passionately wants for people to hear about His Son Jesus.

This video helps us understand how we can all simply play our part in someones journey.

The Orchestration of Salvation from Nick Khoo on Vimeo.

A far country called HOPE

The Holy Spirit gives us unbelievable hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15 v 13

Hope can often be a stranger to us or a country we have heard about and longed to visit but always somehow tantilisingly out of our reach. We have brief flashes of what it would be to live there only for it so often to be taken away.

C S Lewis describes it like this:

The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists.' A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

"If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only... to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, echo, or mirage.

"I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to the other country and to help others do the same."
The Apostle Paul found that "other country". It is being filled with HOPE, not by imagining, not by positive thinking, but by placing his trust in Jesus and being FILLED with HOPE by the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

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