Wednesday, 29 January 2014

RFC @ Madejski Stadium - 8 June

As our 3 congregations continue to grow, we must find ways of expressing being one church. One way we can do that is to book a venue big enough to gather everyone in and then celebrate what God is doing amongst us. 

This morning I went to see the Princess Suite at the Madejski Stadium which we've booked for Sunday 8 June.  

Its an inspiring space, has lots of car parking, rooms for kids works and an atrium area for teas & coffee. 

Evan Rogers will be with us, so our time of worship will be vibrant! 

Please put this date in your diary and encourage others who are getting to know RFC to come along ...

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Why did you get married?

I am preaching this Sunday on 'Family MATTERS - Marriage' and will try to answer this question 'Why does Marriage matter?'

To help me prepare I would very much like those of you who are/were married to send me your answer to this question: 

"Why did you get married?" 

Answers so far include ... 'because it was the next thing to do' and 'because I was insecure, fancied her and wanted sex' (Let's assume the latter was purely comedic).

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Gluttony ...

On Sunday I'm speaking at Godfirst in Cheltenham and will touch on gluttony. 

In my sermon prep I came across Pope Gregory 1 teaching on gluttony (600AD in the ascetic Middle Ages) ... I found it first amusing, then provocative:

#1 Gluttony is Eating before the time of meals in order to satisfy the palate. 
Biblical example: Jonathan eating a little honey, when his father Saul commanded no food to be taken before the evening.[1Sa 14:29] (Note that this text is only approximately illustrative, as in this account, Jonathan did not know he was eating too early.)

Gluttony is Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the "vile sense of taste." 
Biblical example: When Israelites escaping from Egypt complained, "Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks and the onions and the garlic," God rained fowls for them to eat but punished them 500 years later.[Num 11:4] 

Gluttony is Seeking to stimulate the palate with sauces and seasonings. 
Biblical example: Two sons of Eli the high priest made the sacrificial meat to be cooked in one manner rather than another. They were met with death.[1Sa 4:11]

Gluttony is Exceeding the necessary quantity of food. 
Biblical example: One of the sins of Sodom was "fullness of bread."[Eze 16:49] 

Gluttony is Taking food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious.
Biblical example: Esau selling his birthright for ordinary food of bread and pottage of lentils. His punishment was that the "profane person . . . who, for a morsel of meat sold his birthright," we learn that "he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully, with tears." [Gen 25:30]

Friday, 24 January 2014

24hr Prayer on 1st Thursday

One of our new initiatives for 2014 is to start a 24hr Prayer Room on the first Thursday of each month. 

Throughout this Thursday, starting at midnight, you can book one hour slots in a prayer room on the first floor of the church offices. You can either book it for exclusive use, which means you'll have it all to yourself, or you can book a slot where others are free to join you. All the bookings will be done through contacting the church office and we have a cunning plan for allowing access in the early hours!

If you're facing an issue at the moment, why not book a slot in the prayer room. Or perhaps you'd like to gather with others to pray together for a specific ministry, or just spend an hour praising God or listening to him. Whichever it is, I encourage you to book in, especially some of those early morning slots which may not be quite so popular!

We will still run the normal 1st Thursday prayer meetings at 12:30-1:30pm and 8-9:30pm. Hopefully by creating more options and opportunities to pray these will help us keep our lives centred on Jesus.

24hr Prayer starts on Thursday 6th February ... Do book a slot!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

FAMILY Matters - new sermon series

As RFC continues to grow, it's important we keep reminding everyone that family matters; both 'Our biological Family' and 'Church family'. Too often we reduce 'family' to only embrace a Mum+Dad+2kids yet family in the Bible is much wider & richer. Over the next few months we want to explore and remind ourselves that 'FAMILY Matters':

FAMILY Matters - God's Household - God has revealed himself using the language of family (Father & Son) and has chosen to bless the nations of the world through his adopted family. We belong to one another and must hold the tension of diversity in unity.

FAMILY Matters - Marriage. Marriage is the human echo of Trinity and at its best is a relationship of being 'naked and knowing no shame'. Yet Husbands and wives fall short of this but can find grace for each season.   

FAMILY Matters - Singleness. Whilst marriage is the expectation and desire for most people, those who are single aren't supposed to be 'waiting' to get married! Singleness is a status to be embraced, honoured and enjoyed. If you are single please fill out a survey by FOLLOWING THIS LINK. If you are married, then please follow THIS LINK and answer the questions.
FAMILY Matters - Aliens amongst us. God's family has always been made up of aliens & foreigners, yet we are all citizens of another, Heavenly Kingdom. Our brothers & sisters from other nations need us to joyfully affirm their belonging to our church family.

FAMILY Matters - Divorce & Remarriage. God's intent is for a man and women to be joined together for life. Yet because of the train wreck of our first father & mother (Adam & Eve) our hearts can become hard. No one wins in divorce but there is hope in Christ.  

FAMILY Matters - Parenting. It has been said that Parenting is an art not a science. And yet many mums & dads have been robbed of the opportunity, confidence and vision to practice their art! Children need to be nurtured and trained by parents who are supported and encouraged.  

FAMILY Matters - the Poor. Our Heavenly Father has a bias for the welfare of the poor and His family will always include and be amongst them. His household should be quick to give dignity and favour to them.

FAMILY Matters - the Unborn. God's household must speak up for those who have no voice ... so much is at stake in the abortion debate. Many believe we have to choose between helping women and helping unborn babies, yet it is critical we help both.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Never, ever give up - Diana Nyad

Let a 64 year old woman inspire you in 15 minutes ...