Just realised that I've not posted any pictures of Daniel for a while here on the blog! - So here is a photo of our wonderful little boy!. Also, there is a picture of Rachel graduating from her Part 2 exam to become a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaelocologists last friday in London. She's worked really hard to pass this exam - so I'm very proud of her! - God is so Good!
Labels: Daniel, Family, Rachel
Community Life: Faith
"So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith" - Galations 6:10 (NASB)
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is the foundation for true community life in the household of God, the church. Faith is what brings a smile to the face of the Father as he looks upon his children.
Faith in Jesus Christ is the fire that destroys the enemy of doubt and unbelief.
We are called within God's community to speak with faith to one another, to build each other up in our most holy faith, to pray in faith for one another and to be a people of faith as we reach out and witness to the world around us.
There are times in my life when I've sometimes faced doubt, fear or problems. In these times, faith-filled friends have come alongside me and spoken the word of faith into my life and my situation. I'm so grateful for these people and these words that have helped me look to Jesus and his word once again as the source of all power, healing and provision.
Get involved in the community of faith today - it's a great place to be!
Labels: Church, Community, Faith
Kaka belongs to Jesus
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" - Romans 1:16 (NIV)
I got this photo from Roger's blog. It is the brazilian footballer Kaka after AC Milan won the Champions League Final on Wednesday Night against Liverpool. Kaka set up the second goal on the night which proved crucial as they won 2-1. What a picture! - This would have been seen by billions of people around the world. It's great to see Jesus Christ being made famous so publicly and boldly like this.
Have a great weekend.
Labels: Gospel, Media, Sport
Community of Confession
'The tongue has the power of life and death' - Proverbs 18:21
Not had much chance to blog this last week with being away on holiday at the weekend for my dad's 60th birthday!
Here's a short post carrying on with the theme of Community. God spoke to me last week about being a 'community of confession' and a 'people of praise'. I believe this is so vital to the people of God. What we speak and say really sets the course and direction of our lives (James 3:1-13
book has really reinforced this. Here is a quote from it on this subject:
"The seedbed of faith in your own heart is being watered by your own confessions"
Labels: Community, Confession, Roger Aubrey
Community Life: Serving
"Serve one another in love" - Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
The oxygen of community is the heart of a servant. Community doesn't happen unlesss people are willing to serve one another in love. The life of the body depends on it. Take the human body for example, if the mouth has a day off serving, the rest of the body will get very hungry and very thirsty. Likewise, in the body of Christ, we are all called to serve to bring honour and praise to King Jesus, but also to bring life to the fellow members of that community.
On Tuesday Night after our midweek meeting at King's House - we had over 200 exam tables and chairs to set-up. A big job to start at 9:15pm! - Do you know what, by 9:40pm it was all done as loads of people (25+) helped and served. During this time, a guy also became a christian, got baptised in water and was baptised in the Holy Spirit! - A brilliant night.
"Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus" - 1 Timothy 3:13 (NIV)
Labels: Community, Life, Serving
Community Life: Generosity
"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share"- 1 Timothy 6:18 (NIV)
Community Life is all about generosity. Whether that be in our time, energies. finance, love or service - community is built on a foundation of generosity. God the Father is the blueprint of generosity. All that he gives, he gives from the heart - he gives without holding back. He gives wholeheartedly - He gave us his all - He gave us his Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16)
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" Winston Churchill
Generosity is when we sow our lives into those around us. Sowing generosity will always reap blessing. This doesn't just apply to money, it applies to all that we do in our daily lives. Time is so precious to us. When we sow that commodity generously, selflessly and with faith - it reaps a great harvest of changed lives and touched hearts.
Recently, a great couple in our church family cooked us 3 meals in a week - they were very generous and they really blessed us. They gave up their time to bless us. They were so generous and they showed real, practical community through this to us. God is so good, and his people are so great!
A generous people will be a community who see great things for the glory of King Jesus.
"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" - Proverbs 11:25
Labels: Community, Food, Sowing
Community Life: Hospitality
"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality" Romans 12:13 (NIV)
Carrying on with the theme of authentic community life, today I'm going to look at the whole area of hospitality. First of all, I don't believe hospitality has to be a 3 course meal with a matching dinner set! - It could be as simple as a cup of coffee with a nice rich tea biscuit! - The important thing is to have an open heart of love combined with an open home of welcome.
Biblical hospitality is intended to be enjoyed (Romans 16:23). It is supposed to be about sharing life, fun and laughter. I believe that biblical hospitality is far removed from the idea of a 'hospitality box' that you might experience at a major sporting venue. Here, hospitality is given to you on a plate, all arranged, all in place, all very nice...but maybe not authentic and maybe not full of life?
True hospitality is about an open heart and an open home. It is when a face in the crowd becomes a friend in the community. It's when a stranger on a pew becomes a co-worker in the Kingdom. It's when the 'me' becomes 'us', and the 'I' becomes 'we'. It's when we start to see community and fellowship flowing in the church family around us.
Hospitality facilitates the flow of the Holy Spirit. It provides the foundation for sharing life. It opens up friendship, the ability to serve and the forum for kingdom life. Hospitality advances the Kingdom of God."Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling" - 1 Peter 4:9
Labels: Community, Hospitality, Life
Community Life: Fellowship
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer - Acts 2:42 (NIV)
Over the last year, God has been speaking to us as a Church about community, fellowship and life in the Holy Spirit together. Richard preached on 'Koinonia'
last week with our church family. 'Koinonia' is the greek word for fellowship. It is used 19 times in the New Testament of the Bible.
True fellowship cannot be fully outworked by meeting with a group of Christians for 90 minutes on a Sunday Morning. Biblical fellowship is about sharing the very essence of life with one another. Eating together, relating together in conversation, serving one another and giving financially to each other.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ - 1 John 1:3
Fellowship is what God calls us to live by in our relationship with him, and with one another in his church. It's fantastic. As a Church, we've started to meet recently in open homes
during the week across Greater Manchester. These open homes are the starting points and catalysts for fellowship and sharing life. As we are eating together, praying with one another. laughing together and hearing his word together - we are enjoying wonderful fellowship. God is so good, it's great to fellowship with the Spirit. God's people are so amazing, it's great to fellowship with one another. God is a relational God and he calls us to be a relational people.
"Because God is love, he treasures relationships. His very nature is relational and he identifies himself in family terms: Father, Son and Spirit. The Trinity is God's relationship to himself"
Labels: Acts, Church, Fellowship
John Stott on the Church
"I wonder if anything is more important today, for the honour of Christ and for the spread of the gospel, than that the church should be, and should be seen to be, what by God's purpose and Christ's achievement it already is - a single new humanity, a model of human community, a family of reconciled brothers and sisters who love their Father and love each other, the evident dwelling place of God by his Spirit. Only then will the world believe in Christ as Peacemaker. Only then will God receive the glory due to his name"
, The Message to the Ephesians, IVP, 1979, Pg.111-112
Labels: Church, John Stott, Quotes
A couple of great urban pictures of Manchester to end the week with.
Labels: Architecture, Images, Manchester
Little Detail in the Big Picture
Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. - John 20:6-8 (NIV)
I had a great time earlier this week with the Students at School of the Word in Cardiff. I shared with them all about 'Excelling in Finance and Administration' as part of the Church module on the course - I really enjoyed it.
In one of the sessions we looked at Jesus Christ as the ultimate kingdom administrator. When Jesus rose from the dead, in one of the most important moments of history, we see from the passage above that he folded up his grave clothes before leaving the tomb. I think that's fantastic. In a pivotal point in history Jesus remembered the smallest detail of excellence. He saw the little detail in the big picture.
This really challenged in my leadership of the finance and administration in the church here in Manchester. All the small details actually add to the big picture of what God is doing in and through His glorious church in our generation. It also provoked me that sometimes the little things actually speak the loudest.
An encouraging text message, a smile, a word of faith, a message of love, an act of service, or a lift in a car can actually speak the most loudly of covenant love, community and fellowship.
Next week, after a quiet week on the blog this week, I'm going to do a 7-part mini-series on what community life looks like in practice looking at generosity, faith, fellowship, love, service, hospitality and action!
Labels: Administration, Community, School of the Word
Can you see him?
Someone sent me this image this week - There is a man's face to see in the picture. I have to admit, it took me a good minute to see it - once you see it, you wonder how you ever missed it!
It made me think about vision and what we see - sometimes the most obvious things can seem hidden to us until we look with fresh faith & perspective.
Can you see the face?
Have a good weekend
Labels: Fun, Images, Vision
Springing into Action
"Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling" - Zechariah 2:13 (NLT)
Rosy shared this in our Sunday gatherings
yesterday. I thought it was fantastic!. God is on the move. He is in the business of saving, healing & transforming lives. He is springing into action! As we enter His presence, we meet a God of action & power.
The spirit of giving
Labels: Charles Simpson, Finance, Quotes
Martin Luther on Money
"It is often said that Martin Luther taught the need for three conversions; one of the heart, one of the head and one of the wallet. The last conversion is often the test of the authenticity of the first two"
Taken from Stewardship
, Page 2, April 2007'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also'
Luke 12:34 (NIV)
Labels: Finance, Quotes, Stewardship
Bradford City FC Relegated
Oh Well - another season, another relegation. The mighty 'Bratfud' are now in the basement of the football league in Division Two. This is the lowest my beloved team have been since I first went to see them play in April 1984 at the 'Theatre of Dreams' or more recently 'Theatre of Nightmares' that is Valley Parade (pictured above).
My good friend Dan Owen plays for Leigh RMI in Conference North - this is only now two divisions away from Bradford now! - Oh dear, it has been a bad season. Still, as eighties popster Yazz sang 'the only way is up'
I'm slightly comforted by the fact that Leeds United have been relegated aswell this season - It's not been a good year all in all for West Yorkshire Football!
(I've put a label on this post under 'prayer' as this is all that can really help Bradford City now!)
Labels: Bradford City FC, Prayer, Sport