Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Bristol with buddies

Alistair thought cycling back from Bristol would be a good training opportunity so me, Craig & Alistair boarded the 09:57 train on Monday morning.

It took 1hr15 minutes to get there by 'speeding train through rolling hills' which hinted at the terrain & distance we were to cycle.

The route was mainly on the A4 and it does gets hilly in places ... cycling past the White Horse carved into the hill at Cherhill was brilliant. 

I now know that Bristol Temple Meads to my house is 85 miles and it takes 4hrs 47 minutes of cycling (if you average 17.2mph). Also, I now know that Marlborough is half way to Bristol and the Costa there does a tasty Ham & Cheese Panini.  

That said, I can not adequately explain how tired I was when I got off my bike. Liz said it was comical. 

My next cycling adventure is in May, in the Lake District for a long weekend, with nine others from TVT ... hopefully at a more sustainable pace. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A little bit of Turkey

On Saturday I am flying out to Istanbul to carry Dave Devenish's bags in his travels. I am really looking forward to stepping out of my routine here and taste a little bit of 'East meets West'.

I have travelled with Dave a few times before and it inevitably involves lots of listening, laughing, meals and enthusiasm for the nations. I will undoubtably learn loads just watching David interact with people from other cultures and his unique teaching.

But I also plan to press into God for myself. Being away from responsibilities and in an alien culture can really help with perspective to my successes & challenges, hopes & disappointments in Reading. 

I'm taking a book entitled 'enjoying your prayer life' by Mike Reeves and plan to reread it a few more times... it's very short but super helpful.

My job is one of 'Privilege' but also 'Pain' ... this trip should be the former.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Plight of the unborn

Notes from my message on Sunday: <to listen click here>

Whilst the focus of this message is on Abortion, we must first acknowledge the pain and anguish of those who have experienced miscarriage, still birth and infertility.

In 2012, 185122 legal abortions took place in England & Wales (872 abortions in Reading alone); that’s approx 550 every working day. In the USA the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, recently said that the lives of her three kids “began when I delivered them ... and individual women need to come to a decision on when life begins.

So when does life begin? We all need to come to a decision as to when life begins ... be that at Conception, Implantation, Viability or Birth. In essence we need to decide when does someone becomes a human being and therefore have a 'right to life'. When does a Bio-mass become a baby? When does a fertilised egg become a person? Is personhood dependent on size; level of development; their environment or dependency? The safest for the unborn person is to assume that their life begins at conception (Psalm 139v13+16, 51v5).

What about Contraception? Contraception stops fertilisation and can be grouped into Behaviour (i.e. Rhythm), Barrier (i.e. Condom) or Chemical (i.e. most Pills). Methods that affect fertilised eggs (Coil, Morning After Pill, Abortion) should not be used if you believe that life begins at conception/fertilisation.

What do we want to be known for? Do we want to be a community of safety & grace: A safe haven for the weak & vulnerable who have no voice or allies? A church family who welcome with compassion and forgiveness? Can we become a community who work to make abortion unthinkable as we care for mothers and their unborn children? Yes! We want to create a community where taking an innocent life is unthinkable and who confidently influence society to that end.

If you want to contact Reading lifeline their email is lifeline@themustardtree.org

If you want to contact the Pastoral team at RFC their email is
pastoral@readingfamilychurch.org.uk

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Come as you are ...

On 23 Reading buses for 4 weeks...


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Creative@RFC

Calling all 'creatives'! 

God has gifted many of us with creative gifts; dance, art, drama, video, creative writing...... And we would like to gather those who have a passion for using their creative gifting to communicate the gospel.

We want to know who can do what, so we can start to find new ways of spreading the message of God's love & grace through our various gatherings. 

Please come to the London Street offices on Tuesday 8th April @ 8pm if you are interested in helping us to grow this area by you using your talents.

For more details, contact Josh or Liz at the church offices

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

RFC on the buses

Next week 23 Reading buses will be carrying an invite to our Sunday meetings on their rear panels...

This is the first time we have done this sort of advertising. We have been advised that this should result in 75% of people over 15yrs old seeing it 3.9 times over the four week campaign.

We won't know which buses / routes, so if you see one of them please take a picture and let me know the route number.

Lets see how Jesus uses this to build His church ...

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Reading 1/2 Marathon 2014

It was near perfect running conditions this year, except for a small headwind as you ran back up the A33 towards the Stadium.

I was hoping for a fairly quick time, ideally below 1hr30, but knew I hadn't done enough run training. I lined up with Craig Mackay and Steve from my Tri club and waited for the start gun. 

Steve paced us for the first 5 miles and soon we turned into London St to hear the thumping bass of Scott on his decks and the roar of RFCers cheering runners. It was brilliant and I was spurred on enormously!

The second half of the course is where you have to concentrate and keep a steady pace as you weave through the town centre and west Reading. Craig & I were evenly matched, so although little was said we knew the other was there which kept the pace steady. 

Finally we turned into the Stadium but as we crossed the line together I grabbed Craig's hand and held it aloft. Sadly the finishing photo looks as though Craig was helping me do a ballet pirouette (see it here). NOT cool.

Our time was 1:32:23 ... a memorable race if only for my ballet finish. On a more positive note, the guys from my club all commented on the great support from RFC on London Street :-) 

Sub 1hr30 will have to wait until next year.