Tuesday, 29 June 2010

John Piper on racial harmony

On Saturday, a few of us attended a small conference in London with John Piper - it was superb. He preached on Sunday at Jubilee church , a  newfrontiers church led by my friend Tope ... Piper's message is well worth listening to (courtesy of Adrian Warnock).

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Bournemouth Pier to Pier swim

It was sunny, calm and a crazy mass start as 1200 of us entered the sea by Bournemouth Pier to swim 1.4miles along the beach to Boscombe Pier.
The water was warm and never got more than 8ft deep, even when swimming 150m off the shore. The mass start was a little frantic - Craig had the bright idea of us going near the front given 'we are club swimmers'. I got dunked, kicked and swum over a few times but it was all good natured. We managed to swim together for the first 10minutes but soon lost each other in the mass of red swim caps.It didn't take too long and I was in a rhythm, enjoying the swim. I can't swim straight so was probably annoying everyone but made steady progress along the marker buoys towards the pier.
Being a disciplined sort of fellow, I swam right up to the shallows (as predicted by Liz) to ensure I has swum every metre possible ... but meant my exit photo was rushed by Liz. I met Sean Dooley from Thameside church at the finish - annoyingly he didn't even look tired.
It was a great event ... thankyou to those who sponsored me. The ambitiously planned swim to the Isle of Wight next summer seems very do-able!

Friday, 25 June 2010

RFC band tonight @ regional youth

Tonight, one of our bands (led by Josh John) is playing at the newfrontiers regional Youth Event in Bracknell. Kerith Community Church is hosting the event which will include football cages, silent disco, xboxes and several hundred youth who don't yet know Jesus.

Our bands work very hard behind the scenes, as well as up front on Sunday mornings. The next time do see someone from the worship bands, do thank them ... they serve us (and others) really well.

I volunteered to drive the youth over in a minibus tonight ... it going to be a lot of fun!!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

South Reading Churches Fun Day - 10 July

For the past 5 years we have teamed up with other churches who meet in Whitley to put on a Fun Day for the community. Last year was our biggest yet, with over 4000 people in attendence!

Our Whitley based Lifegroups have been taking a lead in this but if you would like to help serve on the day please do contact either Tim Rooke or Chris Poston.

Of course, everyone is invited to come along on the day and enjoy the fun 11-3pm Saturday 10 July, Rabson's Rec, Northumberland Ave.

Last week, there was an article in the Reading Post with a photo of my great friend Vernon (vicar of St Agnes) throwing a welly! click here to read it.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Fathers Day BBQ @ RFC

We had a really great time together this afternoon; the climbing wall was a hit and the football match ended conveniently in a draw!!! Do thank Keith & Leslie Holland for pulling it all together (I don't think he will want to cook another burger for quite a long time!)


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Solitude

I am just about to switch off my phone and pursue God for 2 days. One of the many privileges of my job, is being able to make room in my working week to get away and spend time seeking God alone.

I have a lovely view from the desk in my room...

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Monday, 14 June 2010

7:30am on Saturday mornings

With only two weeks to go until my first middle distance sea swim, I am really starting to pick up the swimming. The lake where Craig, Richard and I have been training, has put together a short video ... incredibly we don't feature in it, I guess we swim too quickly to be captured on film ;o) ...


We are swimming to help raise money for the British Heart Foundation - if you would like to sponsor me click here.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

For those of you who missed it, here is my sermon outline from Sunday (the mp3 is here). Susan's baptism after preaching this was such a great visual illustration!

Before I read the passage I reminded us of the account of the exodus out of Egypt (Ex 12v12). Egypt was judged and God’s people spared through faith in the shed blood of the innocent. God then led His people out of slavery by taking them through water (Red Sea) and into freedom.

Read Romans 6:1-14

The Apostle Paul has written about the free offer of salvation by grace through faith. But this truth does create a question (V1) albeit based on a poor understanding of what happened when God made us a Christian (hence this passage).

Do you not know? Knowing truth is fundamental to Christian salvation and maturity (John 8v32). Paul is saying something has already happened to all Christians: at conversion we were joined with Christ’s death and resurrection (v4 & v5). Our old self was crucified with Jesus on the cross; we have died to sin. I am not my sinful body, I am a new creation living in my sinful body. Just as Jesus ‘died to Sin & was raised to life’ ... so too (at the cross) we also ‘died to sin’ and are now ‘raised to a new life in Christ’ – we are no longer slaves to sin. This HAS happened.

Consider this true. We need to consider this true and ‘count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus’ (v11). The Greek word used for ‘count’ conveys the idea of reckoning; aligning ourselves in the right column, under the right heading. We must constantly view ourselves in this light – in union with Christ we have been made ‘dead to sin’ and ‘alive to God’.

Therefore. We need to take control, to assume responsibility for our thoughts & actions (v12 & 13). We are to offer ourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life (1Cor 10v5, Rom 12v2). Our mortal body has not yet been saved; we still live in this tent; we are treasures in jars of clay, prone to think in old ways (Rom 8:23, Phil 3:21, 2 Cor 5:4). Sin has not been eradicated from our body, we must assume responsibility.

Back to the Red Sea. God called a people to himself out of slavery and into freedom. This entailed a people finding mercy and acceptance by the blood of a lamb; and freedom by going down into water. This historical event foreshadowed another historical event - Jesus’ death & resurrection; it foreshadowed God’s people finding life through associating with The Lamb of God; it foreshadowed being buried with Jesus through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead we too may have new life free from our old slave master Sin (v14).

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

This Sunday @ RFC

I am already looking forward to this weekend when we all gather again.

This Sunday, we will be sharing communion together and also watching a video outlining the work of newfrontiers (the family of churches we are part of).

My friend Howie Kellett will be speaking at both meetings - t
here is something of a rawness & prophetic edge to his preaching that I find inspiring. Many of you commented on this when he preached with us in January. The truth is, he did so well we have asked him back before they launch Sunday morning meeting in Cheltenham.

Please do keep praying for visitors; we had 7 'Like To Know More' forms handed in to the host team on Sunday - God is at work amongst us! (People are still coming from the flyers we all delivered!).

Friday, 4 June 2010

Proud dad - clever daughter

Lucy (she's 10 this weekend) has been busy with Fimo modeling clay:

Dead to Sin

On Sunday I am preaching from Romans 6:1-14. To be honest, when I first read it, I got confused and lost the central thread of the text! Not a great start when preparing a sermon.

That was on Wednesday. Today is Friday and now that the passage has soaked in heart & mind over the past few days, I can confidently & faithfully write up my sermon. I find this a really helpful way of getting into a bible text - to read it then let it seep into in my soul over a few days.

Like me, we all need The Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth that 'we are to count ourselves dead to sin' - this is a statement, not an exhortation. We need this reality to live with us and this truth to set us free from Sin & sinful ways.

Please do try to read Romans 6:1-14 between now and Sunday, it will help prepare the ground of your heart to receive this wonderful truth.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Lake swimming

This morning Richard and I did three laps of Copthorne lake; 2.25km in murky green water. As we clambered out, the drizzle started, meaning I had a wet ride to work.
Sitting here now I can honestly say 'I love lake swimming' YET beforehand I can get so anxious. I want to do it but can get so nervous about it!

I really wouldn't enjoy swimming there alone, I like knowing someone is swimming alongside me - even if is very hard to see them!

I need people to help me do the things I want to do. I need running buddies, cycling buddies and swimming buddies ... to keep me pressing on!

I am sure there are many illustrations I could draw from my anxiety about lake swimming and how a friend helps me achieve what I want to do. All I know is I am sitting here now smelling of neoprene, with a wetsuit rash on my neck and a huge smile on my face.

Friends are great; so is lake swimming; and I will probably get nervous an hour before next time as well.