Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Sundays coming

I am really looking forward to this Sunday, mainly because I know what is planned for the meeting!

During the worship we plan to journey through the events of Good Friday right through to Easter Sunday using scripture, song, images & video. I will then conclude our current sermon series by speaking on Jesus' great claim "I AM the resurrection and the life". After that we will baptise four people.

The children will be with us throughout the meeting so it will have a great family feel as celebrate what Jesus accomplished. Do pray for this Sunday, that as a gathered community of believers we would meet with our risen King!

Friday, 26 March 2010

1000 homes today

Today's leaflet heroes are Dave H, Beka C, Becca H, Joe, Claire, Scott and me. Anyone around next week to help us 'scatter more seed'?

Pete Cornford @ RFC

For some time now, Liz & I have been good friends with Pete & Nicky Cornford who are based at the Crown Church in Hillingdon (which they planted).

In May they are planning to move out to Perth, Australia to pastor a small newfrontiers church there.

Pete has just started blogging (click here) if you want to follow their journey. They will also be with us on Sunday 11 April in the morning when Pete will be preaching.

Liz & I will really miss their friendship but know that Pete will do us good that morning, it takes great courage & faith to leave everything and start over!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Easter Sunday video

More RFC MEDIA videos on our vimeo channel.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Bournemouth 'Pier 2 Pier' swim

The next major event in my sporting calender is the Bournemouth 'Pier 2 Pier' swim on Sunday 27 June.

Last year Craig, Richard & I swam 5km for Marie Curie. It was good to do but a little dull swimming 200 lengths at our local pool. This year we fancied doing something outside, so we are heading to the coast for a 1.4 mile sea swim, this time for British Heart Foundation.

Please would you consider sponsoring me to help fight heart disease in the UK. My target is £150, please click here.

Monday, 22 March 2010

59 seconds

Running is a funny thing.

Yesterday I joined with 15,000 others to run the Reading Half Marathon, and like many, I chased a time. As such I remember little of the course. For me it was a 'triangle of focus': listening to my body, dealing with pain, maintaining pace.

The fruit of all this focus was running faster than I did last year. All that pain for 59 seconds. Had it been 59 seconds slower, I would have been disappointed. One year that will happen. But that wasn't yesterday, yesterday was 1:33:40.

I still hope to keep shaving off time each year and eventually run that mythical time of sub 1:30. This in itself is an arbitrary goal that no-one cares about except me.

Running is a very funny thing that reveals more of my complex psyche than I care to admit ...

... but I am happy. I paid the 'Pain Piper' and came out 59 seconds faster and that is worth blogging about!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

6 today!

Our youngest daughter Zoe is 6 today! That bundle of joy, energy & fun is growing up and our family gets to be part of her life ... very cool.

I'm studying Galatians in my devotional times and this morning arrived at chapter 4v3 "So also, when we were children, we in slavery under the basic principles of this world". Not a classic 'Happy Birthday Daughter' text!

As I sat in the kitchen and the family slept, it was sobering to think that our birthday girl is as much a slave to the effects of Adams rebellion as I was. As I reflected on this my mind turned to Paul's letter to the Church in Corinth. Thankfully Zoe will have the sanctifying influence of parents who love Jesus (1Cor 7v14).

And so breakfast was a jolly affair with balloon, banners, table sprinkles and croissants. Tonight we having dinner at a Frankie & Bennies (a family favourite) and we are skipping Lifegroup so that we don't have to rush back.

I am so grateful to God for Zoe, and also for the hope I have for her future. We all started in a dire place because of Adams sin, thankfully that's not where Galatians chapter 4 ends. The next verse begins 'But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son ...'

But that is for tomorrow morning! Today is Zoe's birthday in the fresh light of the gospel, so we are going to have some serious 'Groovy Green' birthday fun!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Old Skool Church Growth #2

You may be aware of the RFC pages on twitter and facebook, our channel on vimeo, the RFC text update service (contact church office to sign up) and RSS news feed.

I love these new forms of communications but you simply can't beat a 3foot by 8foot vinyl banner outside a building... and we've just ordered three new ones!Banners are so old skool; they're low tech pieces of kit that can't be replaced by the digital age ... I can't imagine buying a huge plasma screen and leaving it outside & unattended!

We've also had some new pull banners made to brighten up our two venues ...

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Old Skool Church Growth

In the early days of RFC we flyered as though our church growth depended upon it. But over time we have relied increasingly on word of mouth, our website and our growing momentum to bring people to our Sunday mornings.

Well, given we have started a Sunday evening meeting in a different part of Reading, we figured it we should go back to our roots and order 10,000 flyers for delivery to home around the town centre.

If you have some spare time over the coming months, are around in the day and can get involved, please do let us know at the office.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Lead elders coaching

Over the past two days I have been in Catford with 11 other newfrontiers lead elders. These coaching days were hosted by Steve Tibbert who leads Kings Church Catford and focused in on understanding ourselves in a team context ... never an easy thing!

One of the tools used was the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator. My 'ESTJ' preferences seemed to be getting stronger each time I assess myself! These sessions were led by
Brian Watts who was superb and very helpful - although at one point he lifted the lid on me which felt very unnerving albeit liberating!

It was good to meet guys from across the nation who have similar leadership responsibilities and want to be better leaders. It felt like a real privilege to be there and an excellent use of time.

You will be the judge of the end results though!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Hope Church St Petersburg

Last summer Dave & Hanna Henson were here at RFC and Dave preached from the book of Ruth on cross cultural acts of kindness. Liz and I first met them both in 1999 at Church Planting School and we really enjoy being around them.

As a church, we support them financially as they work alongside the leadership of the church plant in St Petersburg. Also, as part of the November giftdays, we have been able to help finance the church plant's new web site which has recently been launched.

Do check it out and watch the welcome video, you can really catch the heart of this radical group of church planters!

It's a bilingual site so I also tried to listen to it in Russian - I couldn't understand a word but it was very entertaining!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Karena's funeral

Yesterday was a difficult day for many of us but it did have bright moments.

I thought our friends at Kerith Community Church served us so well as they hosted the funeral. They did a huge amount of work behind the scenes allowing us and others to mourn & remember Karena.

It was good that so many from RFC were able to be there, which was a real testament to our ever growing sense of community. I was so proud to be able to represent our church family.

I really enjoyed catching up with people and renewing old friendships. It's ironic that it sometimes takes a death to bring us back together.

But my real highlight was the solid foundation we have in the Gospel for processing Death. Jesus is a remarkable Saviour and He has won for us a sure and certain hope. Karena knew this and yesterday was a poignant reminder of this Gospel truth.

... and yes, Liz & I will miss her deeply.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Fun whilst shopping ... Hats

On Monday, Liz and I had a real laugh in Debenhams finding me the right hat for the summer (Yes, we did a hilarious photo shoot there) ... can you guess which one we went for?

Monday, 1 March 2010

13.2 miles & smiling

With less than 3 weeks until the Reading 1/2 Marathon, it was time to go the distance and see how I am doing...

It was a great day for running, I had a huge plate of pasta at lunchtime and took an energy gel to consume at 8 miles.

In terms of a training strategy for this year, I decided to avoid any hill or speed work as I always end up straining a muscle. Instead, I have just done long / slow runs (increasing a mile a week) interspirsed with 4 mile tempo runs (at 80-90% of my max heart rate). So far I haven't had too many niggles, unlike last year.

Today I came in at 1hr 35min which I was pleased with, so I am all set for a sub 1:35 time on Sunday 21st March ... yeah right!!!!