Strange day

We`re drawing towards the close of a strange and mixed day. Urgent call in the middle of the night found me dashing to Derby hospital as a very dear friend had passed away. Afterwards found myself wondering around Mickleover Tescos at 3.30 in the morning because my mind was all over the place. Even though I have a real conviction that his faith has truly brought him face to face with Jesus and he has been inspirational in the way that he has carried his illness, the sense of loss is profound. How much more must his family feel it……………..

Got to bed around 5.00 and awake again at 8. after a fitful few hours. It’s amazing how when you first meet people you have no idea of the effect that they may have or how long they may be a part of your life. I first met my friend at a conference in Southport in 1997 not knowing then how our paths would become intertwined; not realising how much I would learn on the journey and not fully appreciating until this morning in Tescos how much I would miss him.


At 9.00 I went to a meeting of the Burton Transformation Trust where I have become a trustee. This body oversees a financial account on behalf of the Burton churches to donate grants to missional causes within the town. Lot of fun and fellowship but serious foundations laid also. Opportunities to share and pray for the other trustees. What a privilege I carry being invited into the centre of the Churches life here (and also my Rotary club) in less than a year since arriving.


This afternoon I travelled to Nottingham to meet with the other members of the MSM core team for the new Notts/Derby 2015 course. Its been a while since we met and again there was a good spirit of gentle (and not so gentle) teasing, of sharing in some of our news but throughout it all an earnest drive to get this course up and running and bring the confidence levels of others up, increase their skills, and encourage them in Fresh Expressions.


So as I look back over the day I think its been hard, very tiring but the day God has wanted me to be in. Its been a day of true Ministry and that always warms my heart. As the day closes there is more to praise God for than to worry about.


Attitude for Gratitude

This is an extract from my website and from the St. Thomas`s magazine. I wrote it whilst on holiday in Whitby over lunch in Wetherspoons. I`ve altered it slightly to make it suit this forum.


I write this from a very damp and wet Whitby. Outside the rain is bouncing off the Pavements and I’m left pondering the variable English weather. When this happens on our summer holidays it be comes very easy to moan and complain, but is that how it should be?

At this moment in time I’m taking part in a 3 day Facebook challenge to list three positive things from each day. What’s a fantastic idea for it turns our mind away from the negativity of life towards the good things God provides and he provides so much.

My mind goes back to Genesis and the telling of the story of the Garden of Eden. Here we have a picture of Gods blessings, with only one proviso: not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What does mankind do? Dwells on the forbidden fruit!

We sometimes have a tendency to dwell on negativity overlooking the many blessings.

So I want to declare August to be a “give thanks” month. Let’s give thanks each day for the blessings around us. Let’s make a note each day so that by the time of our first Sunday service in September  (at St. Thomas`s)  we’ll each have at least 31 blessings to give thanks for. If 50 people do this we’ll have a display of 1,550 blessings. So I challenge each of us to bring that list to Church on Sept 7th and together give thanks. We’ll find a way to display them, somehow.


I`m referring to this as an “attitude for gratitude” challenge because I do believe that with a different attitude the world could look so much better. We`ll see past the hard, difficult, jagged, rock (stone) and see the beauty beyond.

Well, hello there !!!!!!!

Even I have been shocked at how long it is since I put anything on here, and to be honest I don`t know what I`m writing now so this will probably turn out to be the most pointless of all my ramblings.



However I don’t believe that God wastes anything so here goes……  Many of us are shocked     and stunned at what is happening in the Middle East at the moment. The pictures of shelling  on both sides are truly awful; the loss of life is almost incomprehensible to any of us and the  solution seems further away than ever at times.

And yet to those of us who follow Christ the solution is simple, but the tragedy is that the   same solution is to be found in the Q`uran or in the Jewish Scriptures and that is the simple  command to love and respect other human beings. However sadly it would seem to be the  thing that is being ignored on both sides of the conflict.

And of course it’s not just the Middle East is it ? We`re faced with the dreadful situation in   the Ukraine as Russia would seem to be destabilising the whole region, and then the ongoing  recriminations of who shot the Malaysian airliner.

The world is indeed in a mess, but then again hasn’t it always been so. Here we stand on the verge of commemorating World War 1 and we have to ask if anything has been learned at all. World War 2, Falklands, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Sierra Leone and many more only serve to remind us that mankind has got a long way to go to fully grasp the instruction of Jesus “Love your neighbour as yourself”

Simple message but wouldn’t the world be a better place ? However, it must be true in our lives also. Jesus reminds us that true discipleship is to follow him in our whole lives, not just our words. It’s no good saying Israel and Hamas ought to love one another if we don`t show that same love to the person we meet in the shop or at work, to our Muslim neighbour or the Jewish Rabbi we see around our towns etc. We must learn to love ourselves those around us.

IMG_1060I like the old Gospel lyric……….

This little light of mine
                           I’m going to let it shine
                           Oh, this little light of mine
                           I’m going to let it shine
                           This little light of mine
                           I’m going to let it shine
                           Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

The making of a better world doesn`t start with someone else it truly has to start with ourselves. In the midst of the darkness of the world each one of us can shine  with love:

                                                                                                               Are you prepared to ?  Am I ?