Shout out to Church Crunch for this cartoon.
If only it was as easy as a click of a mouse :-)
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Shout out to Church Crunch for this cartoon.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.
- Psalm 40 v 3
Define abandon: give up with the intent of never claiming again
God never seems to use woolly language when describing our relationship with Him.
Dead to self, alive to Him seems pretty definitive.
Selling everything we have to purchase it is radical.
Chucking everything you have out in the street to find it.
But it really is the only thing that makes sense when we understand what we find.
Throwing ourselves off the deck of a sinking and doomed ship of our lives that may look as though it gives us at least some chance of survival into a stormy ocean my seem like madness. With no way back many would think us crazy. But in our leap into the unknown we are found by God and a way back becomes irrelevant.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The critical question for our generation – and every generation – is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you had ever seen, all the physical beauties you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disaster, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?
Or another question: In this life if I was sick, friendless, hungry, left homeless by and earthquake and fearing for my life in the middle of a war torn country but had Jesus would I be satisfied?
Can I with the Apostle Paul count everything in my life as crap just for the theoretical knowledge in my head that Jesus existed let alone know Him.
I don't want to answer that now as my heart may betray my words.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This past Sunday we had a special offering at MKCC towards equipment for our new auditorium. The consistent generosity of the people who call MKCC home never ceases to amaze me.
He is a copy of a letter from Pastor Mark sent to the church today.
Dear Church Family
Time 2 Build – Equipment Offering
It is hard to put into words how generous our church has been over the last 4 years since we launched our building project in November 2006. It has been extraordinary how God has been teaching us through this time. Gifts have ranged from pennies given by our children in Kidz Church to a one off gift of £20,000. However, as we said at the beginning, it is about equal sacrifice not equal gifts.
Through Time 2 Build we have been able to invest £1 million into our building project. Totally renovating the Day Nursery and Kidz Church as well as starting our new auditorium. This was followed in November 2009 by Time 2 Build 2 where we pledged to give over £300,000 over the next 3 years.
Then over the last month we pledged to purchase 700 chairs which including gift aid will be approximately £24,000. Then yet again this past Sunday so many of you stepped up to the mark again and gave sacrificially to assist with the purchase of equipment such as PA, AV & Stage Lighting. The total given, pledged and gift aid was £26,000.
Following years of generosity, giving around £50,000 in the last month for chairs and equipment is just incredible. I want to thank you so much for your generosity at this present time and over the last 4 years and pray that God will bless us with a huge harvest of people coming to know Jesus at MKCC.
If for any reason you were not able to be with us on Sunday you can drop a gift into our offering at any time and note “Equipment Fund” on the envelope or you can give online by visiting our website.
Lets pray keep praying for our special opening services:
Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st October with Bobby Ball
Sunday 7th November with George Ridley & Andrew Shearman
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Looks like Ken Wilson has put together another promo video for a new teaching series at NewSpring Church. Can't think what the subject matter will be but loved the nostalgia of so much I remember. Only problem at my age I could remember clearly one on the 70's as well!
Friday, July 23, 2010
If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him. - Luke 17 v 3 - 4
Over the last few weeks I have shown my support for "People of the Second Chance" by adding something called a twibbon to my profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook.
I love what these guys are doing in encouraging people to pursue radical grace.
Reading this verse today I just wondered if we should rename it "People of the seventh chance".
Even if someone is doing something wrong, and not just generally wrong, but a sin that specifically affects you personally and he does this 7 times in one day after having apologised each time. Jesus simple command: Forgive them!
That is radical. In our minds unfair and even stupid!
Jesus never lets up on calling us to live a life of extreme grace.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The other day I heard a comment that really gets under my skin. Its when church leaders define other people as failures. Particularly their fellow leaders. Maybe their small group or church has plateaued or even declined in numbers. Then we label them as a failure. That stinks. The Bible is full of failures that God seemed to delight in using.
Job questioned God
Moses ran away
Abraham was a liar.
Jacob was a schemer.
Joseph had too high an opinion of himself.
Moses made excuses.
David was an adulterer & murderer.
Peter definitely had "foot-in-mouth" disease and denied Jesus.
Paul wrote people off.
Sometimes I wonder how we get this basic stuff wrong.
1. Failing is part of a learning process so why use it to beat someone. Failing means that you have learned not to do something that way again or even not to do it.
2. In the Body we all have a part and GOD has GIFTED each person to BRING SOMETHING UNIQUE to that body. So what we bring is not ours it is God's.
I can give you a list as long as your arm of things that I am no good at. Ask me to do them I WILL FAIL. But I can also tell you what God has gifted me to do.
The great thing about belonging to a church is that God is in charge and control and he is putting a load of "failures" together and creating something beautiful.
So if you ever look at the size of your ministry, small group and even church and think YOU have succeeded and look at another and think they have failed. Do yourself a favour and compare yourself with God and a new perspective will be gained.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Youversion.com started as an online Bible with multiple contributions from its users to assist with ongoing study.Its development into a downloadable app for almost any internet enabled mobile device has been truly amazing.
Here is an excerpt from their blog:"TWO BILLION - That’s how many minutes you and millions of others in the YouVersion community have spent engaging the Bible on mobile devices! Two BILLION minutes!
Two billion minutes reading the Bible is a huge milestone for the YouVersion community. Since it’s tough to visualize such a huge number, let’s break it down. Two billion minutes equals:
- 3,800 years (Abraham was alive 3,800 years ago.)
- 1,388,889 days (You could fly around the world 785,714 times.)
- 33,000,000 hours (You could fly to the moon 458,333 times.)
More time engaging the Bible— it’s why YouVersion exists."
Currently a copy of the app is being downloaded every 4 seconds.If you have not already downloaded the Bible App go here.
Once you have installed the app on your mobile device go to Youversion Live on any Sunday you visit MKCC for a sermon outline and notes.It also has great reading plans here.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
On their exit out of Egypt it seemed that God had lead His people into a dead end. Mountains either side, water in front and the Egyptian army closing in behind. Ever felt like you have been trying your best to be obedient to God. Listening to what he says and doing it. Life is going to be sweet. Then you hit a dead end. You can't believe you have ended up where you have.
In this situation God tells Moses something.
"I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display" - Ex 14 v 4
God was using this situation to put His glory on display. God in every situation, no matter what it means I don't want to get in the way of you displaying your glory.
I may not understand what your purpose is and I may get confused. I may even cry out in despair like the children of Israel and question your plan. But God despite all that please "Put your Glory on display" so that people will realise that you are God.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I am continuing reading The Autobiography of John G Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides.
He recounts a time at the age of 12 when he was working long hours in his fathers business. Starting at 6 am finishing at 10 pm with only breaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In these precious breaks he would grab his books and study. Because as he puts it: " I had given my soul to God, and was resolved to aim at being a missionary of the Cross."
This phrase Missionary of the Cross has been bouncing around in my head for the last couple of days.
The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem (nom. missio), meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send".
John was a young boy of 12 whose life was already being shaped because he was sent by the Cross. If I was working a 16 hour day with 2 hours in breaks study would have been the last thing in my mind.
I often describe myself as a follower of Jesus. That can have a nice feel to it on first glance. In that Jesus was a good guy and did good things. Loved by nearly everyone He met, apart from the religious fanatics. So that's a good person to be a follower of.
But Jesus journey as a Man ended at the Cross. Following Jesus starts and ends at the Cross. The place of ultimate sacrifice becomes the place where our lives are interrupted, transformed and a new course set.
Our lives are captured by the cross and we are sent by the Cross to bring this message to the world no matter what the cost.
To follow Jesus is to be a missionary of the Cross.
Other post on John G Paton
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
I've just started reading John G. Paton (an Autobiography) (Wiki Entry) who was a missionary to the New Hebrides back in the mid 1800's. Born an brought up in a small village in Scotland he recounts his early childhood and in particular the example of his dad in prayer and leading family devotions. He says:
"No hurry for market, no rush to business, no arrival of friends or guests, no trouble or sorrow, no joy or excitement, ever prevented at least our kneeling around the family altar."
John also tells a story about an "immoral" woman in the village whose life had been "changed by the grace of God" through the prayers and example of his dad.
"The only thing that kept her from despair and from hell of suicide, was when in the dark winter nights she crept close up underneath my fathers window, and heard him pleading in family worship that God would convert "the sinner from the error of wicked ways and polish them as a jewel for the Redeemers crown." "I felt" she said "that I was a burden on that good man's heart and I knew that God would not disappoint him, that thought kept me out of hell, and at last lead me to the only saviour.""
- This quote from Francis Chan in his book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
is rocking my world: "Isn't it a comfort to worship a God we can not exaggerate?"
- mark started teaching a brand new series at MKCC - In Rhythm.
- Him, Ed & Gareth did a brilliant job illustrating Rhythm with drums. Never seen Mark concentrate so much.
- We have the wonderful opportunity to get in rhythm with the heartbeat of God.
- God is not in the spam e mail business. God speaks to all of us by name. He wants us to know His voice.
- Like Samuel we can live in church and even do all the religious stuff but still not know God http://read.ly/1Sam3.7.NIV
- Maybe it's time to quit pursuing the latest book, podcast or preacher on The God Channel and spend some of that time running after God.
- God is continually calling us from religion to a relationship of intimacy with Him.
- Spent the afternoon watching the British Formula 1 Grand Prix. Quote of the day from Mark Webber after winning even though he seemed to get the wrong end of the stick from his own team. "Not bad for a No 2 driver."
- Then watched the FIFA World Cup Final. That thing that about 2.2 billion people are supposed to tune in to. The pinnacle of our game. Just one word - Rubbish. (At least Spain won.)
Friday, July 09, 2010
Soon you will be able to sit here and enjoy a nice coffee. Entrances to creche & small meeting rooms on the right and door giving access to Day Nursery & Kidz Church in the distance.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
As the Moses and the Israel nation left Egypt the Bible calls that night a WATCHNIGHT because God watched over them carefully.
God kept watch all night, watching over the Israelites as he brought them out of Egypt. Because God kept watch, all Israel for all generations will honor God by keeping watch this night—a watchnight. - Ex 12 v 42
Growing up I was taken each year to a Watchnight service at church. It started at 10:30 pm on the last night of the year and ran into the early hours of the new year. To be honest I used to hate going I wanted to be out celebrating with friends. But once I was there they were great times. It was one of those sorts of services where the floor was open for anyone to speak. After the obligatory long silence someone would break the ice. What I used to love was hearing people tell their story of how God had been involved in their lives through good and sometimes tragic circumstances. People that would never as much as say boo in a church service seemed to pluck up courage to honour their Saviour. Often tears ran down my face. Faith in the middle or crap always messes me up.
I guess they were called watchnight in that somehow we kept watch at night before God and kept our eyes on Him.
I think I still prefer God's version of Watchnight. When he is carefully watching over us even through the night of dark times. When the darkness invades and its way beyond your control and your are facing the death of your expectations, it's comforting to know the God who is in control is on watchnight duty.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
About 3 weeks ago we launched a Chair Fund at MKCC. The aim to buy 700 chairs for our new auditorium which is due for completion early September. (Builder permitting)
Trying to ensure we got the best deal possible we shopped around and found that we could import the chair we wanted direct for £26 each.
So we needed 700 chairs at £26 each. A total sum of £18,200.
So far the great people of MKCC have given £1 million towards the building project and are in the process of fulfilling their pledges over the next 3 years to give another £300,000. All this means that the building its self is fully funded but we still needed to equip the building. So the first step is the chairs.
Today we have pledges for 694 chairs. People have given from MKCC as well as Albania, Spain, Scotland and the USA.
God has helped us shop around and we have been able to get all 700 chairs plus furniture for our cafe. This includes 55 tables, 16 chairs, 8 high stools. All this for approximately £14,500.
That means that with the Gift Aid we are able to collect on the gifts, we have raised approximately £24,500. Meaning we have £10,000 to go towards our other equipment requirements like PA, AV, Lights etc.
Thank you to everyone. Another step along the journey of faith. Another alter of thanksgiving.
Now we pray that everyone of these chairs will be filled with people who need to know Jesus.
Honestly, I have never come even close to touching the heartache and pain that this guy Job, written about in the Bible, faced. But some of the things he says resonate so much with our thought process, doubts and questions about God.
In v 20 of Chapter 30 he says:
“I shout for help, God, and get nothing, no answer!
I stand to face you in protest, and you give me a blank stare!
Not getting what we want tends to rattle our Faith.
In Chapter 29 Job takes us back to his life before all this started. A life guided by God, being respected by others, of honesty, of kindness and generosity to people. The list goes on. The picture of a life I only wish I come close to living.
So in our mind and Job's God HAD to turn up. He HAD to step in. Job had done his part by living an exemplary life so now God was obligated.
Pete Wilson says in his book Plan B:
"We are looking for a quick spiritual transaction that doesn't lead to a deeper level of intimacy but gives us what we want."
The story of Job leaves me with more questions than answers and I don't understand why God sometimes does not act.
What I am coming to realise more and more is that God is calling us, through anything and everything, the good and the bad, something that actually scares us more than anything that life could throw at us. That is a journey of intimacy with Him and trusting in the silence is a vital part of that journey.
Monday, July 05, 2010
The book of Job in Chapter 28 contains review of our search for wisdom. We seem to live in an age of information. It is so easy to get information. Books are a plenty, 24 hour news channels, conferences, seminars and the Internet boom. Often I feel on information overload.
Growing up I would gather information about godly things largely by books and attending church services. Hear a guy preaching in flesh and blood. If I was not there I didn't hear it. Now on a Monday morning my iTunes downloads podcasts of sermons given in various continents around the world. Being there is no longer required.
Information, knowledge is not a problem. What I do with that knowledge is much more vital. That's called wisdom and that's much more hard to find.
Wikipedia says: Wisdom is the ability to optimally apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results.
Ultimately we often replace wisdom we seek with the knowledge we have found. Knowing some thing is of little use if we do not discover what to do with that knowledge.
Job describes in great detail our futile quest for wisdom because we fail to look in the right place.
Miners hammer away at the rock, they uproot the mountains. They tunnel through the rock and find all kinds of beautiful gems. They discover the origins of rivers, and bring earth’s secrets to light. “But where, oh where, will they find Wisdom? Where does Insight hide? - Job 28 v 9 - 12
20 “So where does Wisdom come from? And where does Insight live? It can’t be found by looking, no matter how deep you dig, no matter how high you fly. If you search through the graveyard and question the dead, they say, ‘We’ve only heard rumors of it.’“God alone knows the way to Wisdom, he knows the exact place to find it. - Job 28 v 20 - 23
We already KNOW so much maybe its time to go to God and find out what we should DO with it?