Thursday, 27 June 2013

Please listen to this ...

If you weren't at church on Sunday please would you listen to my message - I have a deep conviction that it was a timely word for us.

And when you do, don't be caught by the 'lethal later', take your next step... it will do your heart good. 

Click here to listen and for notes.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Furtick on prayer

In case you missed this on Josh John's blog, it stirred my heart & emotions ... I am so bored of some of my prayers. Well worth the 10 minute investment.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Feeling Epic on Father's day - Cotswold 113

So race day finally arrived and I was VERY excited. Six months of training was put to the test and I smashed my first middle distance triathlon... 

A 1.2 mile open water swim, around a lake course with 8 turn points, is without a doubt a 'contact sport'. I was swimming in a pack most of the time which made for a good swim speed but it was 'bumpy around the bouys'. That said, the 34 minutes quickly sped by and I was soon clambering out and running to my bike.

The 52 mile bike was always going to be the key to the race - ride too hard and I would fade on the run, ride too slow and I would needlessly concede precious minutes. Having figured out my nutrition/hydration/optimum heart rate (yes I am that obsessive) I followed my plan meticulously. No punctures or other mishaps meant I finished in 2hrs 37mins, strong and ready to run ... 

The 13.1 mile run was flat & fast and I wanted to get within 10% of my Personal Best at Half Marathon (1hr 30min) implying I cycled at the right intensity. I finished in just under 1hr 39min, perfect. 

My overall official time was 4:55:54, I was aiming for 5:30 so was thrilled. Both Matt & Craig also exceeded their times so we were 3 very happy, but tired, dads. 

I felt Epic on Father's day. And I still do ... albeit with very sore & tired legs.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Redeemer Church Plant

Yesterday I travelled to Ealing to visit my good friend Pete Cornford and catch up on how his church plant is doing. 

They meet in the town hall and he gave me a thorough tour of building. He also showed my every Post Office, tube station, bus-stop and information point where there was/will be a poster advertising Redeemer. I also saw another 30,000 flyers sitting in the hallway of his home.

We walked from Ealing Broadway to Hanwell; ate vegetarian Samosa's in Southall; and I marvelled at the sights & sounds of an area where you can spend India rupees. 

The church plant is coming into her first summer of Sunday meetings which is always a critical time ... many regulars are away, yet visitors still look in. 

I am preaching there on the 7th July which I am looking forward to.

Scott & I are taking an outreach team there Friday 26th July, please do consider investing a day into establishing this church.         

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Holding hands in public

Today at the Reading Pastors Prayer Meeting we went to Forbury gardens in order to 'sow revival seeds into the heart of our town'.

This involved digging a small hole on the Forbury mound; putting in paper cards on which key prophetic words/promises were written; pouring Oil for healing and Water from a town in Wales experiencing revival on them; then burying them. A stake was then literally driven into the ground and prayed over (the head of the mallet came off mid stroke which made me smile).  

We shared communion with proper red wine (Anglicans can be relied upon for that) and then spoke out the Lord's prayer as we all held hands in a big circle.

Now for me, much of this symbolism is helpful albeit at the very limit of my comfort zone. Holding hands in public for what seemed an extended time was WAY over my line of comfort ... thankfully no-one then tried to hug me.

I write this because I want to fully identify with my fellow pastors & leaders in the town; we genuinely love being together and partnering for the gospel. Jesus is clearly using these dear brothers & sisters and it was a privilege to be part of this symbolic/prophetic act in the heart of Reading. 

I really like how we do things at RFC yet we are not the full expression of what it means to follow Jesus whole heartedly.   

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Lucy's birthday tea party ...

The girls have been busy preparing for today ...

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Death by notices

With three growing congregations and an aversion to 'death by notices' we are trying to find multiple ways of communicating what is going on in RFC. 

The text updates are effective for sound bites; text 'JOIN 1049' to 07797 803210

The RFC twitter feed is@RdgFamChurch and obviously we use facebook.

Our latest innovation is E-NEWS, a weekly email with our main activities on clickable graphics.

It also has a jobs and accommodation listing to help people connect in these areas of life.   

If you're a regular and don't yet receive it, check your email filter or junk folder! 

Or you can subscribe to E-NEWS here.

Please do scan this email each week, it will help us stay in-touch and keep Sundays for worship & preaching.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Managing my Mid Life (Crisis?)

So I was asked on Saturday "Why are you doing a 1/2 Ironman? Why swim 1.2 miles, cycle 56 miles then run 13.1 miles?" The answer came tumbling out of my mouth with a clarity that surprised me. It went something like this ... 

"I am nearly 46, and it can feel like 'this is it for me'. In my 20's it was all ahead of me (marriage, kids, home ownership, that great job). In my 30's I was in the thick of it and just trying to keep up (first years of marriage, young kids, busy job then church plant). 

Now in mid 40's, my career / financial landscape seem pretty fixed and we aren't planning to have any more kids or move house. I am increasingly noticing what my peers have/haven't achieved and do/don't have, for good & bad. 

Essentially I have arrived at mid life healthy, happy and VERY clappy for Jesus. I have a Proverbs 31 wife, 3 great kids and a job I passionately believe in. But these in themselves are not the end, they are precious foundations to build upon.  

Something within me longs to know that what's ahead will have be as significant as what's gone before. I feel I have more to offer than ever before and I can't stomach the idea of simply holding ground for the next 20 years.

I still have so much drive & zeal & energy ... probably more than RFC can handle right now without me blowing her up/wearing her out! Channeling this energy into endurance racing makes perfect sense, for the short term at least. 

Will I be doing Triathlon into my mid 50's? Maybe.

Will I be married to Liz, trying to be better father and leading RFC will zeal when I am 56? YES, by God's grace. 

And to do that I need to keep managing my Mid Life 'this is it for me' Crisis."

As I said, my clarity surprised me!