Tuesday, August 28, 2012

All In - Discovery Kids

All In - Discovery Kids from MKCC Stories on Vimeo.

In the above video Nicola, Children's Pastor at MKCC, shares some of the history of our Children's ministry and our vision for the future. We welcome over 200 children on a Sunday who get the opportunity to dig deeper and discover Jesus at there level.

The last 10 years has seen many developments but we strive to tell as many children as we can about God's grace. As part of the ALL IN series this September we are looking to raise £10,000 specifically to invest in a brand new presentation area for Discovery Kids. This will include a new stage, PA, Lights & multimedia. You can read more here or even purchase a piece of equipment here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Abandon the ___________

A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. "Master, don't you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? - Luke 10:38-40

Martha was doing something good she was preparing a great meal for their guest Jesus. I think I would have been in the kitchen saying the same things, maybe just a little bit harsher!

I sometimes get so consumed with doing things that I stop listening to Jesus. Just too busy to listen. Martha complained bitterly that Mary had abandoned the kitchen to "hang on every word" of Jesus.

What do I need to abandon today to hang on the very words of Jesus.

Abandon.... that blog post
Abandon.... that facebook update
Abandon.... reading that book
Abandon.... that visit to the gym
Abandon.... that night out at the cinema
Abandon.... the family (only for a short time!!)
Abandon.... that friend
Abandon.... that meal
Abandon.... that shopping trip
Abandon.... the football match
Abandon.... that ministry
Abandon.... TO LISTEN

In a tweet:

By all means serve God but don't make that an excuse for not spending time being with him #mkcc @ryanamos77

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Addicted to changed lives

Since my first visit to Southern California in 2000 for a "Preaching For Life Change" conference I have been so impressed at the humility and faithfulness of Rick Warren.

Here is some out takes from an interview he did at Catalyst West back in 2009. Great thoughts but his first comments in answer to Andy Stanley's opening question are hard hitting.

Catalyst West 2009: Rick Warren Interview Part 1 from Catalyst on Vimeo. HT Tony Morgan

Friday, August 24, 2012


Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. - Hebrews 10:12 (Message)

I am only too aware of my own imperfections.
Often our eyes see sights that make us grimace and turn our heads.
Self awareness cause me to wince as I look in the mirror and see my self.

My imperfect looks
My imperfect body
My imperfect temper
My imperfect thoughts

My stubborn pride
My desire to control
My persistent insecurity
My inability to change

Staring at imperfections can birth a spiral of guilt. But the PERFECT person gave the PERFECT sacrifice to save this IMPERFECT person with a plan for my PERFECTION.

I will never find this path inside myself and even if I did would not have the power to walk it. But PERFECT person Jesus leads me on. Time to stare at the transforming PERFECT Jesus and not my IMPERFECT myself

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Highest Apple

"This song is really about everything religion is about. It's about death, salvation and the hope for eternal life. The chorus is inspirational and it expresses spiritual hope. It's an expression of faith." - Donnie Munro

At present
All you were is with me
My eyes closed,
my memory confident
Standing here watching
Each hill and shoreline
With the seed you left still growing

The garden is well stocked
With mighty trees
With fruit growing for the whole world
Ripe, sweet
And bitter apples
And the one apple that is beyond reach

Who amongst us
Can exist a single day
Beyond our own time and our own limits
Countless and futile
Are times I've climbed
To reach and taste the forbidden fruit

The winds will blow and the sun will shine
From generation to generation
Through the trees of the garden
But the day and the hour will surely come
To take the highest apple
From the knowledge tree

CS Lewis once speculated that, in due time, man would have been invited to eat of the tree in order to grow further in his wisdom and fellowship with God. We don't know about that but we do know that God has revealed himself to us in Jesus and he can be know and has now become our pursuit. So I suppose Jesus has become for us the highest apple.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Finger Painting to Masterpiece

Had the opportunity to share a message at MKCC this past Sunday on the following verse from the Message translation:

"So come on, let's leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ." - Hebrews 6:1

Moving on from Finger Painting from MKCCpreaching on Vimeo.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Finding the smile of God

"For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief! Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms" - Robert Murray McCheyne.

I lived most of my life believing that God was disappointed with me.

The problem being I was more focused on myself than Jesus.
Looking at and examining my failures and limitations.
I sinned too much.
I didn't pray enough.
I didn't read the Bible enough.

I still mess things up but instead of looking inside myself for the power to be different. I it is time to look to Jesus who the Bible describes as the "Author and finisher" of my faith.

When I look his way to my surprise I do not find the frown of disappointment but the smile of a proud father.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reads that rocked my world

A few reads that challenged me this week.

Church Hopping by James Emery Whyte

This or that by Seth Godin

Seven Reasons I Believe In The Church! by Perry Noble

Something I wish every mother knew and understood by Perry Noble

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus

John Ortberg recently spoke at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit about his up coming book: Who Is This Man? The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus

Here are a few notes thanks to Jenni Catron:

  • We argue about Christianity rather than marveling about Jesus. 
  • We are stewards of the Christian movement. 
  • Jesus gave the world it’s most influential movement. 
  • Jesus changed how we think about history. 
  • Jesus shaped how we express compassion. 
  • The Jesus movement shaped education. 
  • The Jesus movement revolutionized art. 
  • Jesus changed how we think about human rights and dignity. 
  • Jesus uniquely taught love of enemies. 
  • The question is not who was this man, it is who is this man? 
  • The reason we must marvel at this man is that His work is not done yet. 
Will you devote your life to this man?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Train hard till it hurts and then some

This afternoon with much of the rest of the nation I cheered on Sir Chris Hoy as he won his 6th Olympic Gold Medal. A truly amazing athlete but his continued success can leave is thinking that it is all too easy.

We see a moment of glory while he has lived through years of tough and sometime the torment of training.

Here excerpt from an article in the Telegraph a year ago:

“I believe the medals are won now as much as they are on the day,”Hoy said. “People talk about pulling it out on the day but that’s nonsense. It is physically impossible to perform above what you can do.” Here Hoy breaks down what goes into training for elite cycling competition, a regime so brutal it leaves you in what he describes as “a kind of hell”, fetal, needing to vomit and with lactic acid burning through you — every agonising step up the stairway to the Olympic podium."

Today he talked again about the pain that he inflicted on himself cycling knowing that even when he managed to demount that the pain of lactic acid had only begun to build.

It reminded me that champions are made far from the arena of competition. Glory is founded in pain before it is released in the win.

The Bible compares this Christian life to that of an athlete so maybe just maybe I have something to learn from Sir Chris Hoy.

You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally. - 1 Cor 9 v 24-25

This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. - Eph 6 v 10 -12

Time to train till we feel the pain and then some more!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


My wife Nicola preaching at MKCC

Discovery Kids Takeover @ MKCC from MKCCpreaching on Vimeo.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Not listening

I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you've picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one - Hebrews 5:11-12 (Mess)

I can hear myself shouting at my kids "Will you please JUST LISTEN!". One of the most frustrating things in life is feeling like you are not being listened too. Even worse when you know your words can help and even protect but to the other person just acts as if you are dumb.

I can hear the frustration in Paul's voice. He knows he can help. He sees the way things are going. But his words are falling on deaf ears.

Listening is the path that leads to Maturity. To often we confuse making our own independent decisions as being mature. But failure to listen to great council often reveals our immaturity in our decisions.

Too often I show my failure to listen when I ignore God's word in my life:

I ignore what I read in the Bible.
I ignore his still small voice in prayer.
I ignore the Godly advice of a friend.
I ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the words of a preacher.

Then I find myself back at what seems like "square one".

Help me today God to listen intently, prayerfully meditate and earnestly follow your Word.

Friday, August 03, 2012

God's Pride

For so long I lived with the belief that God was disappointed with me. Disappointed that:

  • I didn't read my Bible enough
  • I didn't pray enough
  • I didn't witness enough
  • I didn't give enough
  • I sinned too much
Thanks to an introduction to God's grace I now have a different picture of my father God that I continually strive to turn my eyes towards in my moments of self loathing. The interview with Burt Le Clos helps me to visualise it click here to see it.

(Yes I know Burt Le Clos uses language that I wouldn't but don't miss the point:) )

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Underdog

Yesterday I had the honour of attending the memorial service for Pastor E J Shearman. I didn't know well, although he did impact my life greatly, but I wanted to be there for my friend and his son Andrew Shearman.

Among the tributes was a small story that touched my heart and refocused my attention.

EJ, as he was known to many, was pastoring a great growing church in Denton and he heard about a young pastor who was starting out in the ministry. This young minister down the road in Stoke was struggling and on the point of quitting and going back to his trade as a painter and decorator.

EJ an orphan had a great heart for the underdog and disadvantaged set off to Stoke to encourage this fledgling pastor and to talk him into carrying on.

That Pastor was none other than my hero Pastor John Phillips. Pastor Phillips went on to be a giant of a man in the Assemblies of God UK. His prophetic teaching gift was devastating and edifying. He went on with his friend Pastor Shelbourne to build a great church in Lincoln that became an example to many.

After one lecture in Bible College on Theology I was hooked. For the next couple of years I travelled over to Lincoln on Sundays so I could hear him  preach again and again.

So I have one more reason to be thankful to EJ, and a stark reminder to encourage the struggling underdog.

A reminder to my self and other church leaders of a trap that is so easy to fall in to. I see so many people looking for connection and recognition to the "Celebrity" Successful Pastors of the day that can improve your profile. Maybe its time to take a road trip but not to the well known, influential, successful Pastor who can do something for you. But to the Pastor who is struggling on the verge or quitting and by that visit change Jesus Kingdom forever.