Sunday, 28 November 2010

This morning I witnessed an amazing thing. Four men stood before well over four hundred people and declared Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour. They then walked down four steps into a baptismal pool and were baptised, just as it says Christians should do in Acts 2 verse 38. They all had incredible stories, and it was especially poignant to see a 16 year old I have known all his life get baptised by his Grandfather. But something was said by one of the others that resonated more than anything.

A 47-year old bus driver walked into our church almost 8 months ago. Today he spoke of being captivated by what he heard and saw. I looked on as his daughter and wife were emotionally taking in the scene - their Dad and husband's life was being transformed before their very eyes, forever.

I had a lump in my throat.

"I heard a great roar." His words not mine.

Those five words make the hairs on my neck stand on end. Those five words sum up God's Kingdom: it's being built everyday; it's victorious everyday; it's alive everyday.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Read this recently. Loved it.

'He is the true lover of men who faithfully warns them concerning the eternal woe that awaits the impenitent; while he who paints the miseries of hell as though they were but trifling is seeking to murder men's souls under the pretext of friendship.' (Charles Spurgeon)

Many people very close to me have read this blog over the last weeks and months. Some of them understand the truth I write about for themselves. Others probably think I've turned slightly fanatical and would like me to keep quiet about what I believe in. But I read a quote like this and I realise all the more that I'd rather write stuff that puts their noses out of joint a bit and lovingly confronts comfort than to pat them on the back and congratulate them on a great, God-less life.

These blogs 'aint a list of rants , they'e one long plea.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Church? Why the heck would I wanna go there?

I was asked last night what came to mind when I heard the word 'church'. It's probably quite an emotive word. I know I have mixed feelings when I think about it.

Growing up it was a word that bored the living daylights out of me. It meant routine, rituals and readings. I don't really even know why we bothered with it so frequently because we weren't even Christians really back then. I'd have to sit in complete silence as my Dad said his prayers. Sunday mornings meant hard seats, old ladies and an obese Malaysian organist. If memory serves. Quite a peculiar scene if you take time to properly think about it.

Yes, the building was pretty nice. There was a certain ethereal, peaceful vibe to it. But bloody hell, it was dull.

I'd imagine most people encountered on the high street or Underground would describe a similar setting if they were asked to explain what a church looked like.

But luckily for me, I encountered something more vibrant later on. A newer and definitely truer version of it. Kids work which teaches children really how to understand God. Youth work that engages with the gritty topics of the playground and stick Jesus smack bang in the middle of the issue. Student work that highlight the joy found in HIM rather than at the bottom of a bottle or in someone else's bed. The list could go on...

It's Christ-centred community. It's the awesome expression of God's love. It's His 'Plan A' for changing the world today.

It's not a building with hard seats and a steeple.

Why the heck would you not wanna see what all the fuss is about!?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

I believe in the lyrics of this song. I believe that one day Jesus will come back.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

I was listening to a talk last night given by a mate of mine. He mentioned about how complicated some Christians make their prayers. All wordy and convoluted. It's something that Jesus warns us about. Keep it simple; don't get caught up on how it sounds and how perfectly phrased each point is. Pray as though you have an audience of One.

Later on, someone else remarked on a significant prayer they had once heard. It too was punchy but powerful; straightforward but sincere; heartfelt yet full of humility.

8 simple words. No great lengths.

'Jesus, thank you for radically changing my life.'

Maybe you struggle to get into prayer. Perhaps your prayer life goes through peaks and troughs. Reaching the heights when you want or need something from God. Scraping the barrel when you can't stump up the heart to even say sorry for something. Ring any bells?

I know it characterises my situation with painful accuracy.

Dunno about you, but I need to start each day from now on with those 8 compelling words. No excuses.

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Truth can be presented in all sorts of ways. Enjoy the work of this local lad (it's free too!)

Go to:

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Not just any old tradesman

So, before the serious God-stuff kicked in at the age of thirty, we all know that Jesus was a carpenter. The son of God wielded a hammer and made tables and chairs for a living. Really doesn't add up does it!? Just in case leaving Heaven, crossing the cosmos to come to Earth and then being born in a stable wasn't humbling enough for him, he then had to graft his way through life in some dusty workshop no doubt. Calloused hands, splinters and lungs full of sawdust. Probably not something he had to worry about up in Heaven before that.

But, still...the beauty of it would have completely changed if he'd come down on a cloud with a thousand unicorns playing harps in front of him (or some similar picture!).

But I don't wanna focus on this not-so-regular-blue-collar guy. I want to tell you about another.

On Sunday night, the clients we are currently working for had a miscarriage. We have just started a month's work doing up their house, so to have their home in disarray as well, was probably the last thing they needed at a time like this. After hearing of their bad news, and lost for words, my boss offered to pray for them (as far as I know, they aren't Christians). They gratefully accepted his unusual offer. It's not the sort of thing you'd expect a grubby, paint-covered tradesman to respond with.

The kingdom of God is so alive; it's staggering and exciting. To think that many tradesmen pee on the seat, fail to use the doormat for their dirty shoes and swear profusely while on a job. And here this ordinary radical stands...praying for the people he is working for.

I've said it before, but i'll say it's happening everywhere and it's amazing!

Monday, 1 November 2010

26.08.1918 - 19.10.2010

As read out by my Dad, on my behalf:

A few months back I told a white lie to my Gran. I telephoned to say that I was writing an assignment for a church project. In actual fact, I just wanted to chat to her about Christianity, because I was intrigued to know exactly what she believed in. By the time our conversation had finished, I put the phone down with tears in my eyes.

She had quite enthusiastically described to me how she couldn’t get through a day without speaking to Jesus; asking Him for wisdom, guidance and rest; she explained that she wouldn’t be able to function without Him in her life! This was pretty much the greatest possible response I could have prayed for and I was (and still am!) so grateful that her life had been impacted by this truth.

It changes absolutely everything.

I know with full assurance that this kind of faith has granted her eternal life – FOREVER! – in Heaven with Jesus. Her maker, redeemer and friend.

She also remarked on the fact that she didn’t quite know what to expect from Heaven. She knew it awaited her, but couldn’t imagine what it might look like. I don’t think any of us can to be honest. Something so perfect and peaceful yet so celebratory and captivating all at the same time. It boggles the mind. Well, not for Granny any longer. She stands in that place, face to face with her Jesus once and for all. Even if we could get her back, she wouldn’t want to come, I am sure of that.

I am more thankful for the salvation she and my Grandpa found than I could ever possibly describe. So I won’t try.

I’ll just wait to see them when I get there.

Let me finish with this Bible verse from 2 Corinthians. It has been a huge source of comfort these last few days:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)