Friday, 26 February 2010
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
The AV guys have been on a sharp learning curve but have done an amazing job hitting the tight set-up deadline. Having to manually reconfigure the lighting each week has been an unexpected pressure yet will be a great skill set for us to have.
The PA team had to fight with a few gremlins on Sunday but South Street's Sound Engineer has been impressed with our technical knowledge and efficiency (apparently we are the most organised set-up they have ever seen!).
The highlight of Sunday night for me was the presence of God after communion. To see the Spirit come, to see tears of joy and the prophetic in action was brilliant.
Sunday night at South Street is many things, one of which is that it is another opportunity to worship Jesus and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
11:15am - Private cremation at Easthampstead Park Crematorium (by invitation only due to space limitations).
12:00 noon - Celebration and Remembrance of the life of Karena Claire Mackay at Kerith Community Church, Church Road, Bracknell - All are welcome.
For more details see Craigs blog.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Title: Death & Heaven – a Christian perspective
Death is an enemy. Mankind was created to be with God forever, we weren’t created to experience death. Death came into the world through one man, Adam, and all who are in Adam die (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). However, our death is important to God (Psalm 116:5), it has lost its hold on us (1 Corinthians 15:55-57), and death will be defeated (1Corinthians 15:26)
Mourning is appropriate. Although we can be certain that when a Christian dies they go to paradise to be with Jesus, it is biblical to mourn our loss. David mourned (2 Samuel 1:11), Jesus shed tears (John 11:35), godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him (Acts 8:2). This will take time, and come in waves, and will continue for years.
Where is our loved one? The bible teaches that we are not simply physical beings; we have a physical body and a spirit. Our physical bodies are like a tent, a temporary and flimsy abode (2 Corinthians 5:1). When a Christian dies their physical body remains but their spirit (who they are, the person you love) goes immediately into the presence of Jesus (Luke 23:43). Here they wait in paradise enjoying the presence of Jesus until His second coming (Revelation 6:10).
When do they receive their resurrected body? Receiving our resurrection bodies is often referred to as our ‘glorification’ and is the final application of redemption (Romans 8:30). When Jesus returns, all Christians who have died will receive their glorified bodies at the same time (1 Corinthians 15:12-28 & 51-52). When He returns we shall be like Him (Philippians 3:21).
What is heaven like? RT Kendal: “we will all know a lot more about heaven 5 minutes after we are there than all the speculation about it now”. Heaven is where God is: It is a real place (Revelation 21:2); a place where we will understand why & have accurate knowledge (1 Corinthians 13:12); a place of beauty beyond imagination (Revelation 21:10-26); it is a place of perfect worship (Revelation 22:3).
There will be a new heaven and a new earth, reflecting the perfection of God’s creativity. In a sense it is easier to say what won’t be in heaven than what will be there: No Satan (Revelation 20:10); No Sin (Revelation 21:8); No warfare within us (Galations 5:17); No Sorrow (Revelation 21:4); No Pain (Philippians 3:21); No Sacrifice (John 19:30); No Separation (Revelation 21:1); No Faith (1 Corinthians 13:12); No longer any curse (Revelation 22:3).
In heaven we are HOME at last. It where Jesus is (Revelation 5:4), and is place of our true citizenship (Philippians 3:20). It is the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13) and a place of reunions (2 Samuel 12:23). Heaven is where we will be ‘as we are meant to be’ – with God and without sin.
Saturday, 13 February 2010
Please do pray for Craig, Esther, Ben & Olivia and also Karena's wider family over the next few days (Liz and I were with them all last night).
Let's also gather as church tomorrow to mourn Karena and worship Jesus. I will be speaking on the Christian perspective on Death & Heaven to help us grieve well.
God is good and we will miss Karena deeply.
Friday, 12 February 2010
The prospect of Karena's death is different to this fleeting, yet poignant encounter.
I know and love Karena (and her husband and her children), she is no stranger to me. And Karena is dying well. This may seem a strange thing to say, yet it is deeply meaningful for those who know & love Jesus. Karena demonstrated her faith & trust in Jesus to her last conscious breath. Her family are doing the same and will continue to do so after her last breath.
We all want to finish like she is, full of faith in a good God. When I die, I hope my family grieves deeply whilst trusting in God's promises.
Jim (91) made it to the ambulance and presumably to his home the same day. Karena (48), will soon make her last breath and then be immediately at her final and permanent home, with Jesus, the one she treasures above all.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Friday, 5 February 2010
Scared about today? No, I don't think so......
Luke 24:1-6 "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!....."
1Cor15:54-55 "...Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where o death is your victory? Where o death is your sting?"Phil 1:21 "For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain"
Deut 33:27 "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.."
Karena's condition is worsening day-by-day. Her breathing through the night seemed really very shallow (I didn't sleep very well !!). Had another jolly good cry this morning.It won't be long now before she meets Jesus face-to-face. Knowing Karena, my guess is that she will run into his arms at full speed......
Thursday, 4 February 2010
I really enjoy Sean Dooley's company (he leads their team); we both enjoy outdoor swimming and in June we are participating in a charity pier to pier swim in Bournemouth (1.4 mile sea swim - more in a later blog!).
Tonight will have a social element to it, we will finish around 9:30pm and serve soup & rolls for those not fasting.
Please do car share to ease the pressure on parking around the offices .. hope to see you tonight.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
- One of the people on last term's Alpha course (who became a Christian) was filled with the Holy Spirit on Sunday whilst taking communion!
- Our average attendance in January was up 22% from Jan 09 , just one of the signs of God's work amongst us!
- This Sunday we start our evening meetings at South Street and the team of 50 is taking shape!
We have three prayer meetings planned this week:
- Wed 8 - 9:30pm at the church offices.
- Thurs 8 - 10pm with Thameside Church, here at our offices.
- Fri 8 - 10pm, again here at the church offices (top floor).
In one sense, there is never a good time to Pray & Fast, so please decide to clear your diary and get along to these gatherings ... we have much to give thanks for and plenty to ask God to break in on!