Please pray for this weeks production of “Sleeping Beauty” which will be held at Ripley Methodist Church as part of its fund raising for a new building. Please pray that as we have fun, so may the audience realise that Christians enjoy themselves !!
Last night had a very enjoyable half an hour sharing in a radio programme with Richard Whitehouse, the Church of Christ Pastor (Selston). Richard had been granted this slot at 6.00 p.m. and had asked me to share it with him, to bring some stories of Chapel outings. Consequently we ranged from `chuggie-boats` to Billy Graham, via Lonnie Donnigan and memories of support from my home Chapel and Sunday-school days.
Interspersed with all this was music, predominantly Christian but Lonnie Donnigan also got a look in !
it was a good time and I hope the listeners enjoyed it.
Radio Salistune is a local initiative by a small but heavily committed group who host a station covering the Selston area of Nottinghamshire for 1 week each year (although this year they’re trying for two weeks). It is entirely voluntary and I was very impressed with the professionalism of its presenters and backroom staff.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and hope to be involved again at some stage. It was very generous of them to let me prattle on, but also a good gentle way of bringing something of the Christian Gospel to a wider audience who might never attend Church.
God works through many different media.
Every now and then in life we meet someone who is truly inspirational. I have just spent the morning with a chap who lost his leg in a biking accident 5 or 6 years ago. He is now a lower limb amputee although you would never know it. Guy is embarking on a 2000 kilometre motorbike ride across part of South~West India, from Goa to Kochi, in order to raise money for the Rainbow Trust, The Wildlife Conservation Society, the World Wildlife Fund and for Adventure Ashram (which helps poverty in India). He has already raised £3,200 of his £4,500 target.
The great joy was to listen to him speak of how his accident gave him a new perspective on life, and how determined he is to make a difference. Guy has such a positive attitude to life that this morning has been truly inspirational for me. He sets out on Feb 7th for two weeks, so please hold him in prayer; for safety for him, his family who will remain in England,and for the charities he’s raising money for.
Got the wonderful news last night that Kevin Keegan is back as the manager of Newcastle United. Barrage of sarcastic comments from a young friend of mine in Manchester (Gareth), but I am truly delighted with the news. We may not have won anything last time he was in charge but he gave us pride and self~belief, and here’s to a resurgence of that again. Geordie’s don’t always need to win, but we do need to feel good about ourselves.
Watch out Fergie, the Geordie’s are back !! I don’t think MUFC have anything to worry about yet, but we are definately back.
I was sent this in an e~mail. Its a bit slushy but I liked the idea and thought I’d share it with anyone who may be reading this.
We all Need a Tree!
I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied ‘I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them.
Then in the morning I pick them up again. ”Funny thing is,’ he smiled,’ when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before’
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. We all Need a Tree!
Had the privilege of attending the memorial service for Rob yesterday. As I’ve said before Rob was a great influence on my life and Ministry (as many others would say) and I still miss him. However, yesterday was a great privilege. A time of crying and laughing, sharing and remembering. Methodist Central Hall was packed out to hear tributes from a variety of church leaders as well as working colleagues and friends. Led by Robs two sons, Andy and Chris, it was a fitting moving tribute, including dance, singing, drama, a visit by Clarence the frog, and the commissioning of those who will now carry on the work of Share Jesus International (www.sharejesusinternational.com).
I found myself crying with memories of times Rob and I spent on the road together, laughing at the thoughts of how Rob would be reshaping the staff in Heaven and interfering in Gabriels work and generally praising God for all that he achieved.
It also felt good that towards the close of the event, it was almost as though Rob faded from the event. This was highly appropriate and jut what he would have wanted, for it seemed significant that the mantle of the work was passed on and so by the close of the event (almost an hour later than planned) it really was Jesus we were praising and we wer all recommitting ourselves to follow Him and continue His work. As I journeyed down I kept thinking “What would Rob have thought about this ?” He would have been selling his books, marshaling his troops, and asking us what we were doing by remembering him instead of preaching the Gospel ?? By the end of the day the Gospel was preached, shared and we were sent out with fresh determination. It was what would have been Robs heart and it was good.
So now we journey on; life without our mentor, but we journey on in the certain knowledge that what he achieved was entirely for the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our job is now to continue that.
I praise God for Rob Frost, but I also praise Him for the privilege of being a part of the work of building the Kingdom of Jesus.
Stoke City 1-1 Newcastle United. Week by week football supporters put themselves through torture or high drama or overwhelming excitement; I sometimes wonder why ?
But more than that I sometimes wonder why people in Church cannot have the same dedication. The dedication which means that they sing with enthusiasm and passion;the dedication that means that they turn out in all weather; the dedication which means that they put up with old decrepit stadiums (in some cases), sitting on hard uncomfortable seats; the dedication which means that they keep going no matter how dire the team is, because they believe that the good times are a~coming.
on the other hand I’m glad that there isn’t `win at all costs` mentality in church; nor is there a torrent of abuse hurled at the preacher when she/he descends from the pulpit (at least not in my experience) and thankfully there isn`t the over inflated wages spent on Ministers (!).
I look at football and I wish we had the same level of passion for Jesus Christ; the passion that puts him first before all else, but in many churches its passion that is lacking. I think of churches where to shout `allelujah` is frowned upon, or to burst into applause after someone has given a powerful testimony isn’t the done thing, and I despair.
Lets get the Pentecost passion back; lets invite the Holy Spirit to invade us again and lets begin to get excited about belonging to a decent team; Christians United.
Just found out tonight that someone from my home church of Consett actually takes the time and trouble to read this stuff !! Thank you Judith.
Greeted the New Year in by running a non~alcoholic cocktail bar at my Waingroves Chapel. The bar opened at 8.00 p.m. and ran until Worship began at 11.45 p.m. A whole assortment of cocktails were served with exquisite names such as Pink Panther, Sunset Strip, Tiger Tim, Angel Cava and Mud slide. Each recipe was taken from the HOPE UK website so many thanks to the people responsible. Unfortunately the chocolate fountain broke down and had to be hastily re-advertised as a chocolate puddle ! Still the marshmallows dipped into the warm chocolate were greatly appreciated. Next year it may be both a working chocolate fountain (as its been fixed) and a chocolate (or otherwise) fondue.
The worship co~incided with the launch of the Hope 08 initiative and the inspiration was the Tiny Lights vision where candles were lit in many churches up and down the land. Each participant also lit their own candle and prayers were said for the community, the nation and other nations. Prayers were said for Hope 08 itself and for ourselves that we might be good witnesses to Jesus Christ.
About 20~25 people turned up and it was a good evening. Unfortunately it has not been possible to put the photos on my website but here is one of a smooth hunky looking cocktail bartender. www.revmike.co.uk
Today I’ve been studying this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Every attempt to impose the gospel by force, to run after people and proselytize them, to use our own resources to arrange the salvation of other people, is both futile and dangerous. It is futile, because the swine do not recognise the pearls that are cast before them, and dangerous because it profanes the word of forgiveness………worse still, we shall only meet with the blind rage of hardened and darkened hearts, and that will be useless and harmful. Our easy trafficking with the word of cheap grace simply bores the world to disgust, so that in the end it turns against those who try to force on it what it does not want.”
I couldn’t agree more. The more we push our faith the more some people will resist and reject. I know a certain young lady who will always dig her heels in when urged to do something, even if she wants to actually do it ! There will always be people who will warm to the direct approach and yet we must also be aware of those who need to be warmed to our personalities and friendship first. I feel that nights like last night, where we had fun and simply relaxed amongst ourselves; where people were free to come and go; where they could come into worship if they wanted or not, will always be a large part of making people feel welcome. We can share the gospel with them later, when they are ready.
Happy New Year to you all