We love Tithing (and giving Offerings!)
Prompted by a recent article in Christianity Magazine on Tithing
. I've written to the magazine in response (see below). As a family we love to tithe and couldn't even contemplate not
tithing. Why would you not want to tithe? - not out of any legalism or dry religous duty, but out of sheer joy to obey God and his powerful word in our lives.
Tithing helps us to stay healthy, enjoy God's rich provision and be open for all of heaven's blessings. It also helps us to see the fruit of God's Kingdom in our lives, and for it to ripen and come to full maturity at the proper time - these are some of the blessings of tithing outlined in Malachi 3:10-11.
For another excellent post/article on tithing click hereWeb-Site Comment/Response to 'Christianity' Magazine April IssueDear Editor,
In relation to your April Issue I would comment that my family love tithing, i.e. bringing 10% of our income to God. It is an absolute joy not only to tithe, but to also give offerings in our local church family.
I believe that tithing is totally biblical, and clearly established in both the Old and New Testament. Tithing is an eternal principle that is essential to living a life fully in the purposes of God. I believe God is the source of 100% of our income and a faithful provider.
The Bible allows us to 'test God' only once - this is in relation to tithing and offerings. I would challenge your readers to follow this biblical practice - enjoy the blessing of tithing and following God's word, and watch the floodgates and windows of heaven open upon their lives, families and churches - Malachi 3:10-11God Bless,
In the same issue of this magazine in April, there is an excellent and inspiring article on local churches reaching out with the gospel to youth living in inner city council estates of Manchester - to read this click here
Labels: Letters, Tithing, Vision
Participators not Spectators
God has called us to be participators not spectators
, His Kingdom message inspires to re-align our lives and priorities for the purpose of advancing his purposes and plans, and seeing the name of Jesus made famous in our time and generation. It calls us to take action and get involved.His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature2 Peter 1:3-4‘Find out what God is doing in your generation and throw yourself into it’ Arthur Wallis
Labels: Arthur Wallis, Getting Involved, Quotes
Tony Blair started his Third Term as Prime Minister of the UK by pledging to create a ‘Culture of Respect’
in the UK. Whether we see this as political spin or a shallow soundbite, it gives the Covenant Community of God a great opportunity to showcase how God’s people are ‘Champions of Respect’ led and fuelled by the Holy Spirit to be a prophetic people in society at large.
Healthy Respect is the result of a good understanding of Authority and its proper use in our society and culture. The Kingdom of God can be said to stand on the basis of Authority, in one sense we could say that the whole of our lives and being are centred on how we see and respond to Authority.
The Bible is clear that Jesus is either Lord of All, or not Lord at all"The Kingdom is present whenever and wherever men and woman submit their lives to God’s Authority" - Donald Kraybill – The Upside Down Kingdom, Pg.20
“The Church is to be the sphere of God’s kingdom, the place were God executes His authority.... There must be an absolute submission and an absolute position for God so that His authority can be perfectly carried out” - Watchman Nee - Authority and Submission, Pg.150
As God’s People we are called to show respect for Authority and be ambassadors of the Kingdom in the following areas:
- ‘The church submits to Christ’ – Ephesians 5:24
2. Church Leaders
- ‘Obey your leaders and submit to their authority’ – Hebrews 13:17
- ‘Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord’ Col 3:20
4. Boss at Work -
‘Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh – 1 Peter 2:18
5. Marriage -
‘Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her’ – Ephesians 5:24-26
6. One Another -
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king – 1 Peter 2:17
The Apostle Paul also spoke clearly over 2,000 years ago about Respect and Society:This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor – Romans 13:6-8
As God's people we have a key opportunity and chance to showcase to the World a Kingdom Character and Lifestyle that demonstrates the liberation, freedom and encouragement that comes from the right use of Authority and our lives submitted to the Godly Authorities in our lives.
As we show Respect for these God ordained Authorities I believe we will see the World, including powers and worldly authorities looking at the Church for how authority, submission and respect should be outworked in out time and generation.But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an
answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect - 1 Peter 3:15
Labels: Politics, Quotes, Respect, Tony Blair
Faith in Jesus Christ - 01
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe - St. Augustine
‘The righteous will live by his faith’ – Habakkuk 2:4
Throughout the Bible, Faith is a continual theme and element in the dealings of God with his people. Faith is the basis and foundation for all that God does with and through his people. Faith can be likened to spiritual oxygen for every born again believer – it is essential to live, develop and walk out our Christian life.
The book of Hebrews in its 11th chapter chronicles and lists men and woman of faith in the Old Testament showing the historical context and power of living by faith. These people lived by faith in a messiah who was to come. They are commended in the Bible for living by faith. We live by faith in a Messiah, Jesus Christ who has come, who died and rose again, who poured out the Holy Spirit in his people. Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord and Lords now sits at the right hand of the father, ruling and reigning in majesty and power.
The writer of Hebrews describes faith like this:
‘Without faith it is impossible to please God’ – Hebrews 11:6
Faith is the essential ingredient in our lives that puts a smile on God’s face. There is no greater joy for a child than to please their father or mother. As God’s children, as we move and live by faith – it pleases our father in heaven – what a great honour and privilege we have as his sons and daughters to live this way.
In an age and time obsessed with information. It is easy sometimes to think that we gain God’s approval and build our relationship with him based on our knowledge and fact gathering of information in relation to the Bible. Whilst it is of benefit to know about the word of God, and to find out as much about it as possible. This knowledge is only effective when it comes after the primary position of faith in God, and faith in his powerful word. Faith brings power, life and the dynamic revelation of God’s truth and his word in our lives
What is faith? – The writer to the Hebrews gives us a succinct and powerful definition:
‘Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’ Hebrews 11:1
Faith is important because by it we are reminded that there is an unseen realm to our lives – the heavenly dimension. Faith reminds us that we are ‘citizens of heaven’ living on earth. It encourages us that we are ambassadors of the Kingdom living in this word by faith and truth of God’s word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We come to Christ through faith responding to his wonderful grace and kindness that leads us to repentance. This saving faith that we believe and confess (Romans 10:9) is the platform from which we act in faith to be baptised in water and receive the baptism of the holy spirit, and then be added to the Church to advance the Kingdom of God. Faith is a continuum throughout these steps.
Faith is never a one off event or a feeling; it is a lifestyle of trusting and believing in God and the power of his word. Faith in Jesus Christ and his Word in our lives is powerful, it’s what God looks for in his people, (Luke 18:8) and when he sees it, he responds and moves in power
Faith is linked to authority (Luke 7:9) and that being released and seen in and through his people demonstrated by signs, healings, wonders and miracles
Faith is like our spiritual muscle that grows and strengthens as we move and demonstrate faith. However, faith is not cumulative – it’s about moving in faith at the right time, in the right place. Jesus said that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move a mountain (Matthew 17:20)
The key to faith is to confess that ‘God said it, I believe it’ and to build our lives upon that faith filled confession. By faith in Jesus Christ, we can lay hands on the sick and see them made well and healed. By faith, we can preach the gospel and see the lost saved and added to the church.
By faith, we can bring our finances in our tithes and offerings to God in response to his word, and know that God will provide and meet all our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus
By faith, we build and work out covenant love in marriages, relationships with our children, and between one another in the church community.
By faith, we can read the word of God and stand on its promises as true, powerful and foundational for our lives.
By faith, we see the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covering the earth as the waters covers the sea. By faith, we see a glorious, radiant and powerful church prophetically announcing and advancing the Kingdom into all nations, cultures and into every area of society.
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step - Martin Luther King Jr.
Labels: Faith, Quotes, Teaching Notes
God in Action
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does - John 5:19-20“The Father thinks and the Son Speaks, the Holy Spirit does”
Ern Baxter, The King, the Kingdom, and the Holy Spirit, Pg.3, 1995“The Holy Spirit is the first person in the trinity who confronts you, He comes to you in conviction and in enlightenment. He knocks on your door and presses upon you the claims of Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. He says, “I want to talk to you about Jesus Christ”Ern Baxter, The King, the Kingdom and the Holy Spirit, pg.4, 1995
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth - John 14:15
Labels: Ern Baxter, Quotes, Trinity
Church = People
We visited my Grandma in Ilkley on Saturday - it was the first time she had seen Daniel, her great grandson - we had a great time with her.
Whilst there, I found this poem written by my Grandpa, Kenneth Charles White. He was an Architect, with his own firm in London, which is still going but now renamed delightfully as Grace Architects
. He was also a devout Christian and Preacher who dovetailed his faith and profession beautifully in helping churches use their facilities and buildings to reflect the fact that they were a community of people reaching out to the wider community.
It was going onto a building site with him for the first time when I was ten years old that first inspired me to become an Architect. This is the poem that he wrote over 20 years ago:
Father, help us to build a church
Where the roof is not metal or timber
but hands held high in praise
Where the walls are not brick or stone
but strong faith
Where the floors are not wood block
but temptation trampled underfoot
Where the windows are not stained or obscured glass
but transparent honesty
Where the warmth is not from gas boilers
but caring fellowship
Where the illumination is not electric lamps
but your word proclaimed
Where the resting is not in pews
but in promises fulfilled
Where the foundation is not concrete
but our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ
Kenneth Charles White - 1917-1987
Labels: Architecture, Family, Testimony
revelation on gratitude
..A grateful people will see great things..
Labels: Quotes, Thanksgiving, Vision
The Power of Jesus
I've just read a great testimony that has really, really encouraged me. It's from one of the members of our church family, Kelly Shannon - she's great, and her testimony is powerful, click here
to be inspired! (Kelly is in the blue top in middle on the photo with some of her fellow Youth Leaders)
I've been at moativate youth club tonight with 15-20 teenagers from the local council estate I live on - it's great to spend time with them and share the wonderful news and gospel of Jesus Christ. He can and will change and save their lives like he has done with Kelly - God transforms lives powerfully, and his Kingdom is ever increasing - PRAISE GOD - HE IS AMAZING
Labels: Moativate, Salvation, Testimony
One Another - Part 3
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves
- Romans 12:10
I am so grateful to God for joining and adding me and my household to such a great community of faith and a loving family here in King's Church, Manchester. It is also a great joy and honour to be part of such a wonderful eldership
team that leads the church with the apostolic care and oversight of Keri Jones. My fellow elders are men worthy of honour. They are men who passionately pursue the purposes of God, they are men of faith and they love Jesus deeply. Their lives always inspire me to follow Jesus and the advancement of his Kingdom in this world even more. They are great covenant men.
It is a fantastic privilige and joy to devote my time, prayers and energies into serving with them as we serve King Jesus and his glorious and radiant church. The Holy Spirit is doing a great work in our lives as a leadership, and in us a wider body. He is stretching, provoking and inspiring us to think BIG, to think of increase, and to stand on his word and prophetically pray and proclaim his Kingdom message to the city, region and nations. He is calling us to 'Make Jesus Famous'
Rachel and myself are so grateful to God for joining us with these men, their wives and families, and the wider community of the church for such a time as this. As Paul encouraged the church in rome, I am too delighted to devote my life to these people, and to honour them above myself.
Labels: Community, Elders, One Another
One Another - Part 2
'Offer hospitality to one another' - 1 Peter 4:9
We had the joy last night of hosting the wonderful people of our cell group from our local church family - Rachel cooked a fine meal, John led us in looking at the word of God in relation to 'Money Matters' from Arthur Wallis's
Classic 'Living God's Way', and then we spent some time praising and thanking God as we broke bread together ending in prayer.
Rachel and I are so grateful to God for our home - We love having people round and spending time with them - It's a great way of expressing and developing the 'covenant community' that we are as God's people.
Praise God that he uses the simple and daily things of life like meals and conversations to build his truth and kingdom power into our characters and lifestyles. I love how in Acts 1:4-5, Jesus makes the following fantastic promise over the meal table:On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit."The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
Labels: Hospitality, One Another, Quotes
Ern Baxter on the Priestly Clothing
A fantastic resource of Ern Baxter's
teachings from 1983 has been made available - click here
to enjoy and be inspired. Keri Jones, the Apostle to the church family here in Manchester I am part of has been encouraging people to listen and read Ern's teaching once again recently
- Ern brought and taught timeless truths to the people of God - Be inspired!
Labels: Blogs, Ern Baxter, Keri Jones
One Another - Part 1
'..serve one another in love..' - Galatians 5:13
On Saturday, we had a great time away with the cell leaders in the church family here. We looked at being a covenant community with some great teaching from my fellow elders Andrew Cursham and Richard Anniss.
One thing that Andrew touched on were all the 'one anothers'
in the New Testament. I thought I would do some posts on these with some practical ideas for how we can put these into action in the covenant community of God's people - His Church.
Galatians 5:13 calls us to 'serve one another in love'
- this is so important and vital for the people of God to be able to serve one another, but also to do it with great love. I've seen these ideas in action in the church and seen them to be a great blessing:
Offer someone a lift to the cell group or church meeting who you know doesn't have a car
Cook a simple meal for a family with small children or a young baby
Visit, phone or write to elderly people in the church, especially those who live on their own
Help to wash up after cell group without being asked
Join a stewarding team, or kids work team in your church family
He now showed them the full extent of his love........Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him - John 13:1-6
Labels: One Another, Serving, Vision
Put your coat on
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan - 2 Kings 2:11-13
We were greatly blessed to have Matthew Ling
with us yesterday as a church family bringing the word of God to us. He spoke on 'Prophetic Prayer'
and brought some excellent insights and wisdom to us a community. One person he touched on was Elijah and the prophetic anointing and power that rested upon him. This was given to and imparted to his servant Elisha as Elijah ascended to heaven - the prophetic spirit was passed on in the form of a piece of clothing - Elijah's coat. Matthew talked about us as God's people, that we now carry this mantle of prophetic anointing as a people together as we are filled and baptised in the Holy Spirit - we can all now prophecy to fulfil the heart cry of Moses in Numbers 11:29:"I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"
This passage in 2 Kings 2 reminded me of Pentecost in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came to fill the people of God with power from on high. When Elijah ascended to heaven, there was fire, wind and the mantle of anointing being passed on in the form of a cloak. At Pentecost, we see again fire and wind, and the promised Holy Spirit filling the people of God with power from on high as promised and prophecied by Jesus, who used a clothing analogy again in a similar parallel to that of Elijah and Elisha.I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." - Luke 24:49To be all that God wants and intends for us as his people - we have to be dressed right - dressed and clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit - As parents say to their children, 'Don't go out without a cost' - God says as a father to his Church, 'Don't go out without the coat and clothing of the Holy Spirit upon you' - He wants us to have his power to do his will in our day and generation
Labels: Matthew Ling, Prayer, Preaching
Daniel and Josie
Let me introduce you to one of Daniel's little friends, Josie Barrow - she is 8 days older than Daniel, but they are best of friends! - Josie is the first child of our great friends Paul and Jane Barrow. They are in our cell group
here in King's Church, and a real blessing to us a family. It's amazing how we've had babies so close to one another, and how God has used that to speak and bless us as families together in his Kingdom purposes. God is amazing, and is involved in our children's lives even before they come into the world
I read the verse below recently about the time when Jesus Christ and John the Baptist first met each other whilst still in their respective mother's wombs. Before they were even born as humans - the Holy Spirit was at work in and around their lives!. God is at work in our children's lives more than we ever know I believe.At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit - Luke 1:39-41
Last sunday, we experienced the powerful presence of God in our sunday morning meeting
as a Church. I got Daniel out of his pram so he could see the Holy Spirit at work. One of the members then stated she could see Angels in our midst, I totally believed her - yet couldn't see them myself at that time - However, I think that Daniel probably saw those Angels - I believe our children see things in God that are so wonderful and powerful. Sometimes this is, and will be beyond what we see as Adults - God is Good, he is moving through his Church, both young and old!Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" - Matthew 19:14Then Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way" - Luke 10:21 (NLT)
Labels: Angels, Community, Daniel
“The Bible doesn’t say you get saved to go to Heaven. That’s part of the package deal. You get saved to become a member of an earth changing community”Ern Baxter, God's Agenda, Destiny Image Publishers Inc, Shippensburg, USA, Pg. 61
'His intent was that now, through the church
, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord' - Ephesians 3:10-11.
Labels: Church, Ern Baxter, Quotes
“The revelation of the “Acts 2:38” conversion in valid for all time and circumstances because God, in his omniscience, anticipated all human exigencies” Ern Baxter, God's Agenda, Pg.15Following on my from post yesterday, I thought this quote from Ern Baxter was fantastic. Omniscience means the capacity to know everything, and exigencies means a pressing or urgent particular situation, or a scenario requiring much effort or immediate action.
Basically, Ern Baxter is stating that the message that Peter preached at Pentecost is a timeless truth that is powerful and life changing, and has to be held fast to as we preach and proclaim God's Kingdom message to this world. It applies to all human situations and circumstances, whatever situation they are in - and is the power to bring life, truth and transformation!Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" - Acts 2:38
Labels: Acts 2:38, Ern Baxter, Quotes
'And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved' - Acts 2:47
Following on from our joining King's Church course in February
, I've met with 4 guys over the last couple of evenings about them coming into membership of the church family
with us. One of the great things from taking to all of them is that 3 of them have been saved within the community life of King's Church in the last 6 months. It was awesome to chat to them and see their passion for Jesus, for his Kingdom and his Church. (the picture is of Jamie one of the guys I spoke to getting baptised at Quinta back in November last year - very cold from all accounts!)
To top it all off, last night at the end of my chats - I found out that following on from our VIP Night a couple of weeks ago, we saw another guy come in off the street last night into our building. He repented and put his faith and confession in Jesus as saviour and lord of his life, got baptised in water, baptised in the Holy Spirit, spoke in toungues and the first thing he then did was pray for one of our church members to be healed in the name of Jesus Christ from a cold!
I believe we are moving speedily to the day when we will see the 'Acts 2:47' promise a reality as we preach and proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom which is repentance and faith, baptism in water, baptism in the holy spirit, and then being added to the Church. (See Acts 2:38-47). God is so gracious and powerful, what a wonderful King we serve and worship! - He is building his Church in our time and generation through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Labels: Baptism in Water, Salvation, Testimony
Only 130 days to go!
No, these aren't the number of shopping days till Christmas!!, but the number of days until Without Borders Bible Week 06 - 'See Above and Beyond'
- I can't wait, we're booked and I'll let my gorgeous wife rachel tell you a little bit more about last year to get you excited about going this year, and also to make sure you book in before the price goes up in a few weeks! - See you there...in the sunshine!!Despite the weather, and being 20 weeks pregnant in a tent you couldn’t stand up in (!!) – Bible Week in 2005 was a truly amazing time for me. Through the preaching of the Word in the evening meetings, especially through Andrew Hughes – God spoke to me powerfully and challenged me, meeting me right where I was at, and I believe changed me as a result. The worship times were fabulous, and being able to spend time with people in the church family was fantastic – Make sure you’re there this year! (PS – We’re enlarging the place of our tent this year!)Rachel White, (Gorgeous Woman of God)
Labels: bible week, ministries without borders, Testimony
Covenant and Community: 07
We had a powerful time in the presence of God yesterday with the covenant community
I am part of. It was quite an extraordinary day in many ways - including heavy snow in the middle of March!! My fellow Elder and great friend Richard has written a great blog
post on it.
It was a partial fulfilment of what God spoke to me a few weeks ago in relation to Angels and the Church
- there is more of this awesome heavenly dimension for us to move into when we gather as his people in his presence.The Covenant and the Kingdom are two separate, yet inter-related, aspects of God’s great plan of redemption - Charles Simpson, Covenant and the Kingdom, Pg.243
I've enjoyed writing about Covenant this last week - one last thought to write about is how you cannot separate Covenant and Kingdom. They're such big areas in the divine purposes and plans of God, and so inter-linked in his ultimate intention.While God’s Kingdom has always been spiritual, the new covenant brings mankind to a more mature realisation that ultimate power is in the spiritual realm, not in laws and ceremonies - Charles Simpson, Covenant and the Kingdom, Pg.241
Psalms 145 captures this wonderfully, verse 8 uses the hebrew word 'hasid' to describe God's rich love - this is linked very closely to the hebrew word 'hesed'
meaning covenant love. The Psalmist then goes on to proclaim the glory and power of the Kingdom - an illustration of how the covenant love of God is inextricably linked to the Kingdom of God in all its power! - We are a covenant people and a kingdom people serving a glorious covenant king - Jesus Christ.The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you, O LORD;
your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generationsPsalms 145:8-13
Labels: Covenant, Hesed, Quotes
Covenant and Community: 06
A few quotes taken from some excellent teaching by Ron Eagle on Covenant that I heard and benefited from yesterday:
'Covenant provides the climate for the atmosphere of faith' - Ron Eagle
'Christ is the centre and circumference of the Covenant' - Ron Eagle
Labels: Covenant, Quotes, Ron Eagle
Architectural Urban Gems 04
In honour of my great welsh friends and the recent St.David's Day - here are a few images of the new Welsh Assembly Building that opened on St.David's Day
last week. It's an excellent design and piece of urban architecture by Richard Rogers Partnership
, in the impressive Cardiff Bay area where I've enjoyed a few meals and strolls whilst in Cardiff!
I look forward to visiting this when I'm next in sunny wales - I went to the new Scottish Parliament
in Edinburgh last October, and thought it was fantastic - However, the Welsh one though seems to have been much better thought out and planned, and cost much less!! - £67Million versus £431Million.....now what could you do with that kind of money in the Kingdom of God?
Labels: Architecture, Urban Gems, Wales
Covenant and Community: 05
God himself is a covenant community. Within his own nature he exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in perfect unity, love and covenant together. Not only do we reflect this covenant within the community life of the Church family, but we can express that within, what is the most powerful image and mirror of covenant to the world - marriage.The Book of Ruth in the Bible is a book of covenant, the whole concept later in the book of Boaz being a Kinsman Redeemer, points to and is a shadow of the work that Jesus Christ would complete in his atoning work on the cross.
When Rachel and I were married on 14 July 2001, we read to each other as part of our vows the following verses from Ruth:Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." - Ruth 1:16-17Nearly five years on, I still believe this for my wife in our expression of covenant in marriage even more! - Marriage is amazing, and a powerful testimony to the church and the world, of what God sees for covenant and community in his plans and purposes - (Eph 5:22-28)
Labels: Covenant, Marriage, Rachel
Covenant and Community: 04
The New Covenant Relationship in Jesus Christ deals with our past, sets our present position, reminds us of our promise for the future, and determines our practice and life as a Kingdom community and family - What a blessing we have in Jesus Christ, Praise God
“There are important differences between the two covenants. The Old Covenant was written in stone, the new in the heart. The Old Covenant was mediated through the temple system, the new covenant through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit”
Charles Simpson, The Challenge to Care, Pg.174
“The Biblical Ethic is a covenant ethic. A Covenant ethic is a code of conduct showed by a community that has been bound together”
Charles Simpson, The Challenge to Care, Pg.171
Labels: Charles Simpson, Covenant, Quotes
Covenant and Community: 03
"Hesed (God's Covenant Love) stood for his eager, ardent desire for his people and describes the depth, and the strength, and the certainty of his divine compassion"Erling Thu, Friends of Covenant, Pg.31When we were at School of the Word in 2003-2004, Bryan Shutt brought some excellent teaching on covenant, hesed and it's implications for the people of God. Here is a list he gave us which I've found helpful:
1. Covenant is a bond that binds people together in a relationship
2. Covenant is always between two or more parties.
3. Covenant is established through verbal declaration.
4. Covenant involves total commitment between two parties
5. Only man can break it – God is a faithful, covenant keeping God
6. The issues within it are always matters of life and death
7. Blessing or cursing is dependant upon hearing or breaking covenant
8. The only way man can keep covenant is through obedience
Labels: Covenant, Erling Thu, Quotes
Daniel's New Cousin
- My sister Trenna gave birth last week to a beautiful baby boy, Caleb Simeon Hulley, 8lb 6oz - that's him on the right having some time with Daniel at the weekend, we are really pleased for them especially Daniel at having another cousin to play with alongside Ethan
Hulley, his older cousins (just to confirm, we don't gel Daniel's hair for it to be like that - it's all natural I assure you!!)
Labels: Daniel, Family, Hulleys
Covenant and Community: 02
‘Covenant is a bond in blood sovereignly administered’
O.Palmer Robertson, Christ of the Covenants, New Jersey, 1980. Pg.15Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe - Exodus 12:22
In Exodus, at the time of their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, God commanded his people to prepare a meal, to kill a lamb without defect, take some of that sacrificial lamb’s blood, and put it on the door and frames of their front doors. This would be a sign to God to ‘pass over’ those houses:"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt" - Exodus 12:12-13
Blood, throughout the Bible is always seen and used as a sealing of a Covenant, or
the basis of that Covenant. Here, God commands the Israelites to put the blood of the lamb on the lintol (horizontal) and frames (vertical) of their doorposts so that when the angel of death came to strike dead the first-born of the people, he would see the blood and pass over those houses. Not only is the blood sacrifice and passing over a picture and shadow of the cross, that Christ, our sacrificial lamb without sin or defect covers and forgives our sins with his blood. Also, the vertical and horizontal elements of the door are symbolic of the shape and form of the cross of the Christ, which would herald and bring in a better covenant than that experienced by the Israelites in the Old Testament.
They also symbolise an eternal truth that God always has longed for his covenant purposes to be outworked between him and us (the vertical relationship) but also with each other as his people here on earth (the horizontal relationship). These two tensions are important elements for us to remember in the celebration of that covenant in the breaking of bread today.
Our relationship with God the Father, and our faith in Christ Jesus and our relationships together in the church are so important as we live as his people of unity (1 John 4:19-21) empowered and equipped to be his covenant community in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-42)
We cannot say that we love God but not love his people - the two outworkings of covenant have always been destined to go together throughout all eternity.Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel - Hebrews 12:24
Labels: Covenant, O.Palmer Robertson, Quotes
Covenant and Community: 01
A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne - Revelation 4:3
God has been speaking to us as a Church about being a people, a family and a covenant community together to advance his Kingdom Purpose in this world. I thought I would do some posts on Covenant, and its implication for us as God's People over the next few days.
As an introduction, here is the classic tri-partite (3 parts) covenant statement of God from Revelation 21:3:And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God"
The Lord is our God
We are his People
He will dwell amongst us
A quote from O.Palmer Robertson to finish on:
“By Creation God bound himself to man in covenantal relationship. After man’s fall into sin, the God of all creation graciously bound himself to man again by committing himself to redeem a people to himself from lost humanity. From creation to consummation the covenantal bond has determind the relation of God to his people. The extent of the divine covenants reaches from the beginning of the World to the end of the age"
O.Palmer Robertson, Christ of the Covenants, New Jersey, 1980, Pg.23
Labels: Covenant, O.Palmer Robertson, Quotes
Tony Blair on Parkinson
Rachel and I watched 'Parkinson' with interest last night. Tony Blair appeared as one of the guests. The story about Blair and 'God'
had broken 24 hours previously, so we tuned in with some intrigue.
Alastair Campbell, former press secretary to Tony Blair once famously said in a press conference, that 'we don't do God'
. However, it is obvious from watching Blair last night and other comments
he has made in his life, that he personally 'does do God'
- what his actual clear position is and where his faith in Jesus Christ is at, is harder to tell.
However, he came across last night as someone quite humble, as someone who had wrestled with his conscience greatly over decisions to go into conflict during his time in office. He also had a sense in his comments of 'God being his judge', that there was an eternal judgement to come for all his decisions. Whether you agree with his judgements and decisions, this was quite a statement to make.
Our ability, especially as Godly leaders, to make righteous judgements and decisions is so important and crucial in this time in our world. I'm so glad that I can draw on God's Word, His Holy Spirit and other wise fellow prophetic leaders around me in the decisions that I have to make - my prayer is that worldly leaders and authorities would do the same.
Isaiah prophecied this concerning Jesus and making wise judgements and decisions:The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth - Isaiah 11:2-4
Labels: News, Politics, Tony Blair
The Joys of Architecture!!
Labels: Architecture, Humour, Workplace
Well, we've had snow in Manchester this week which is a pretty rare occurance, a bit like a Bradford City
win but there you go! So in honour of this, and with the Winter Olympics taking place at the moment, I thought I would include a stupendous piece of Architecture in Germany - a ski ramp no less by M2R-Architects
- It's a pretty quirky design but one that I like, just imagine the view from the top. Beats me why anyone would want to ski down a 380m ramp into a field of ice and snow but I suppose it's an interesting way of making a living!
Labels: Architecture, Images, Innovation
Liberal Democrat New Leader
Sir Menzies Campbell has won the ballot to be the next Liberal Democrat leader. See BBC Website
for full story. Although the leadership election winner will be a 'safe' pair of hands, I think the Lib Dems have at best stagnated, and even gone backwards since the resignation of Charles Kennedy
earlier this year. I'm glad i'm part of a people and a Kingdom that is always going forward, and advancing in purpose and direction. No stagnating here!
Labels: Liberal Democrats, News, Politics
Family of God - The Church
'God sets the lonely in families' - Psalms 68:6Carrying on the theme of the Church from yesterday. I shared last night at the VIP Night about how when you become a Christian, you become part of a family - you can't live life as a 'lone ranger' anymore - no more Frank Sinatra living as I like to call it - 'I did it my way'!!. I believe this is really important to share when preaching the gospel. Jesus Christ died and rose again to forgive sins, and bring life and salvation to people's lives. God always intended then for these people to be placed in a family for purpose, direction and power in the holy spirit - he called it the Church, his body and his bride - through which his Kingdom is increasingly advancing.We must realise that there is another side to the Christian life - the corporate side. In the Bible, as far as the corporate aspect is concerned, no one can be a solitary Christian. First of all, God's Word tells us that when a person is saved, he becomes a member of God's household; he becomes God's child, born into God's family…. Second, the Bible shows us that all the saved ones are God's dwelling place, that is, God's house…. Third, Christians are collectively called the Body of Christ. Watchman Nee, The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, P. 84
Labels: Church, Quotes, Watchman Nee
Through the Church
“Evangelism is best done reaching out from the local church and feeding them into the local church. Conversion should result in people being added to communities of vibrant Christians drawn from all spectrums of society and demonstrating the church as God’s mutli coloured work of art”Terry Virgo, No Well Worn Paths, Kingsway, Pg.305Tonight, with the local church family I am part of - we've got a great event on. We've called it 'V.I.P Men's Night' - It's going to be a great night where we invite guys who are either homeless or in hostels in Manchester to have a meal with the Church family, receive a blessing of clothes and toiletries, and hear the gospel proclaimed through music and preaching. We want in all that we do to make sure they know that they are loved by God, and that they are really important to him - but most importantly that they know they can have a relationship with Jesus Christ that will radically change and transform their lives. I can't wait - it's going to be great. God is moving powerfully through his Church by his Spirit.His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord - Ephesians 3:10-11
Labels: Church, Quotes, VIP Nights