Monday, 29 July 2013

Proposed Deacons

In case you missed this, we are proposing seven more people to serve as Deacons within RFC. We asked that over the next 6-8weeks you to test them against the criteria laid out in 1Tim3v8-13.

If you have any concerns about them, please let either Scott, Richard or myself know.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Isle of Wight with an Ouch!

On Wednesday 11 of us travelled to Cowes for the now annual bike trip around the Isle of Wight. Its a 66 mile route with a good sprinkling of hills and brilliant vistas (not that we stop to enjoy many of them).

This year we were joined by our first female, Lucy Thomas, who did really well. We also had a few riding hybrid bikes which managed to keep up!

It was almost an 'uneventful ride' with just one puncture (James Del Rio). That was until I got stung by a wasp and later crashed whilst descending a steep hill. I was flying down, leaning into a corner when my bike slid away beneath me (diesel on the road). 


Once we stopped the bleeding and I had come to terms with the damage to my bike, we cycled on for 40 more miles.

Apart from that, it was a brilliant day, and better to come home with grazes than never to have gone at all. But I am very sore ...    

Friday, 19 July 2013

Fearing God ...

Josh John put me on to this video a few months back. It is beautifully filmed but more importantly its message has been sitting in my soul for some time. I plan to preach on the 'Fear of God' on August 4th ...

'The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.' Psalm 147:11

'The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.' Proverbs 14:27 

'His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.' Isaiah 11:3 (Speaking of the promised Messiah)

John Piper: 'Christian fear and trembling are not because God is our enemy but because he saved us from his wrath through Christ, and now we stand on the brink of the Grand Canyon of his holiness and justice and grace and wrath with unspeakable wonder, knees wobbling and hands trembling, but overcome with worship at the depth of his majesty, not with worry that we might fall in. Listen to the way the Bible says it so paradoxically, and yet, all true saints know what these words mean. Psalm 2:11, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” This fear is shot through with joy'.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Macbeth at Caversham Court

Feeling pretty grown up watching open air theatre by the river Thames ...

Friday, 12 July 2013

Marriage enrichment retreat

Today Liz & I are off to a 24hr marriage retreat and this video is the homework ...

Thursday, 11 July 2013

RFC Leadership Summit - 23 Sept 2013

It’s been a few months since we jumped to three congregations and already we can see the fruit of our faith. Overall attendance in June was 68 more people than last year ... I say this because each one of these new faces is precious to our Heavenly Father. 

But it has created pressure, not least on the leadership reservoir within RFC. More than ever we need to invest in our existing leaders and help new leaders emerge. 

To jump start this process we plan to gather every leader / potential leader for a day and look at our Philosophy of Leadership at RFC , the Character of a Leader and then try to figure out individual next steps for each of us. 

Lunch & refreshments will be provided and babes in arms welcome but unfortunately we will not be able to offer child care. 

  • Time: 10 – 5pm 
  • Venue: Wokefield Park, RG7 3AH (near J11 of M4). 
  • Cost: £10 contribution 

We must fan into flame the leadership gifts within the church. Please consider coming along to this day and book in by giving Karen in the church office your £10 contribution (There’s always a cost to leadership).

Friday, 5 July 2013

17 years ago

17 years ago, Liz said "I do". We celebrated today with a picnic in Forbury Gardens ... she still makes me smile inside. 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

An anonymous letter ...

Left on my desk ... don't know who it is from but it is an encouraging story.

Dear Sean

Thank you for your message on Sunday on Generosity and Giving. I was greatly challenged and encouraged by the principle for life that you so wisely and sensitively explored with us. I wanted to write to you to encourage you on the way your words supported what God is doing in my life at the moment.

I have been particularly challenged by the topic of financial over the last few months after hearing a sermon online preached at Woking’s New Frontiers Church ‘The Coign’ during a series called Money, Sex and Power Well worth a listen “Sermon 4: Investing in Eternity”

The preach was on the topic of spirit filled giving and, as the speaker spoke on tithing and giving, he shared similar challenges of exceeding current giving standards that you spoke on when you mentioned the different steps last Sunday.

God spoke to me clearly after hearing the online sermon a month back and asked me to be radical and crazy- To give our months earning straight out and keep none of it. God has blessed us greatly in the past and after running the numbers I recognised that this act of faith would not be a foolish thing to do.

I was excited to try it and shared the idea with my wife who was sensitively reluctant. As we chatted, we remembered God’s faithfulness to us and how he has challenged and blessed us in the past. I have felt a particular call at the moment to pursue greater steps of faithfulness after hearing God speaking to me on several occasions for me to test my faith.

The end of the month came and we watched as the money came into our account as usual. It took me almost 3 weeks to muster up the courage to go online and pass both of our incomes for the month (pre tax) to RFC (our usual tithe to the church and the rest to the vision fund).  I can tell you honestly that we have never been so financially challenged as we were that day. The amount was equivalent to 6 months worth of what we put into savings.

God is clearly still at work in us on this issue and we were greatly blessed by your message to continue to pursue sacrificial giving. I must be honest when I share with you that I had to stop myself from switching off as you started speaking on Sunday, as my false pride told me I didn’t need to hear it. However I knew that God was always be speaking new and fresh and that you would give me an honest and inspired perspective. Your words, about having a genuine and joyful heart when giving to God, were inspiring and made for a great life-group discussion this week. My wife and I have continued to chat this week about God's provision in our lives and recognise his sovereignty in our giving.

I hope you can be encouraged by these words and that it may strengthen and encourage your ministry. Feel free to share with others, that they may be encouraged too.

I wanted to finish with a few wise thoughts I have collected over the last few months on this topic.
Firstly, God owns everything; it is an insult to him not to receive the gifts he gives and an insult when we try to give back to him what is already his as if it were our own!
Secondly, God does not need our money; Simple but often forgotten in church giving. 
Finally, God blesses and prospers us not to increase our standard of living but our standard of giving. He gives us stuff in order to test our response.
Please pause and re-read these. I’m sure they are not new to you but it is great to reflect on these truths.

Feel free to share this with anyone you think would find it useful, inspirational or challenging.

Yours in Him,

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Love is ...

... Liz letting me put up my Tour de France poster in the kitchen ... and not making comments when I fill in the results after each stage.