Thursday, 30 September 2010

RFC Music Resource

Josh Josh has been busy (he's one of our interns whose project is supporting our musicians). He has created an online resource for the musicians in our community.

Check the site out here.

It includes key dates, rotas, song lists, lyrics/chords/mp3s of homewritten songs.
If you have time, watch the two videos by CJ Mahaney & Bob Kauflin, they're very stirring!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Solitude revisited

So here I am again at Stanton House, with unhurried time to strengthen myself in God and seek His face.

September has been such an 'ambitious' month for RFC, we've hit the term running and met so many new people. On Sunday the 'newcomers lunch' was a reflection of the growing momentum that God has given us: it was at capacity, there was a wide spectrum of people there, and it was great fun!

It's in busy seasons like this that we all need to create space to press into God. It's easier for me to do this, so thank you for giving me permission to lead out of intimacy with Jesus.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Elders & Deacons day

Today was spent with my fellow elders & deacons, worshipping Jesus and enjoying being together. There is so much momentum (& pressure) in church life at the moment it is important we carve out time as a team to seek God and have some fun!
Unsuprisingly, Simon & Sitho came up with some great games that caused a smile. Anthony led us into a beautiful time enjoying the presence of God. The day seem to rush by and we were soon back in cars heading to Reading to pick up the children.

For those of you who are part of RFC, I want to commend her leaders to you - they love Jesus and want to see His kingdom extended. Please continue to pray for them and that God would add more elders & deacons to lead us.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Reading Triathlon 2010 race report

Sunday was a fine and sunny day as 500+ competitors headed over to the Copthorne Hotel to take part in this race.

My wave set off at 8:15am (a deep water start) 60 of us churning up the lake, trying to get to the first buoy without getting too badly bumped / kicked / swum over. As ever, I managed to gulp in enough water to trigger my obligatory mid-swim coughing fit. I still cant swim straight in open water, so ended up tracking someone hoping they could. Eventually l navigated all 5 marker bouys and clambered out of the lake.

The bike section was two laps of a undulating course through some lovely villages and fast, smooth roads. Craig and I had decided to race together as a fitting tribute to the 'crazy' year he has. This was good news for me as he is stronger on the bike and chasing him would improve my time. As normal, he charged out and then had to throttle back in order for me to stay in contact. We kept an OK pace and I came in with tired but not spent legs.

The 10k run was 4 loops of an off-road course which was muddy and rutted - not pleasant running. Our pace was slow enough to let us chat and review quite why we do stuff like this! We crossed the finish together with fuel still in our tanks ... but sometimes doing things together is more important that getting your fastest time.

Quite a few guys from our Tri club where racing, as was Sean Dooley and others from Thameside Church. It was good to see other friendly faces as red as ours.

I came in 92nd out of 268, with a time of 2:44:33 (1500m swim=26:14, 46km bike=1:26:28, 10k Run=46:51). I was pleased with that, maybe because I know I can go faster!

Friday, 10 September 2010

RFC & Readifood

RFC partners with Readifood, a local Christian charity, providing for the needy and homeless in our town. Social Services and local doctors can refer people to Readifood who in turn deliver food parcels to homes on a short term basis.

Around 100 people/couples/families in the town are
referred to Readifood for help at any one time, but the charity only have the resources to currently help 25 of these. Below is a photo of the sorry state of their food storage shelves, this should give you an idea of the need!
Readifood are totally reliant on local churches for donations, and we at RFC can make a HUGE difference to people in our town by us forming the habit of 'simply picking up an extra item on our way around the supermarket'!

This week, they are particularly short on canned meals & meat, but more generally the most needed items are:
  • Tinned meat pies & ready meals
  • Tuna, spam, pasta sauces
  • Tinned peas, sweetcorn
  • Tinned fruit, Custard, rice pudding

Readifood's shiny green boxes will be at the front of Sunday gatherings each week, so please encourage your Life Group members to get into habit of picking something extra up each week. If you have any questions, please talk to James & Jess Del Rio who are our point leaders on this.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Chris & Becca

Every so often you get clear reminder of how God uses the local church to change lives.

Chris became a Christian 4 years ago during our first prayer meeting at our London Street offices. Becca gave her life to Jesus 2 years ago after a morning meeting.

Chris now leads our laptop & lighting teams, as well as taking a lead on the Whitley Fun Day. Together they have been a key couple in HOPE, our ministry to adults with learning disabilities.

This Saturday Chris & Becca are getting married and then heading off to an exotic location on honeymoon - very nice!

Jesus has transformed their lives and now they are starting this next chapter on the same solid foundation. It is so encouraging to see people who have became Christians through RFC plugged into church life and doing so well.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Called to Serve

Without a doubt we live in a celebrity obsessed culture. Their lifestyle and viewpoints are often heralded as desirable and authoritative; their fame and status celebrated. We can learn from many of them but we also need to remind ourselves of what true greatness is.
When Jesus was asked about promotion in His kingdom he replied “whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave” (Matt 20v26).

This kind of teaching flies in the face of the culture we live in and yet Jesus lived out what he taught. Over the next month we are going to look at what it means for us to follow Jesus in ‘taking on the nature of a servant’ (Phil 2v7). It doesn’t come easily to most of us but we are expecting the Holy Spirit to be at work as we continue our journey as a community of people.

Our identity as ‘Servants of God & Others’ is both beautiful and self beneficial. As we pursue true greatness we will become more like Him ‘Who came not to be served, but to serve, and gave His life as a ransom for others’.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The rise of the 'Mamil'

Apparently I am a 'mamil' (a middle age man in Lycra). I had not heard the term until one of my 'so called' friends sent me this BBC article saying it brought me to mind.

Ironically, I have just ordered a new pair a cycling shorts and await its arrival at the church offices, classic 'mamil' behaviour according to the article.

And yes I do gawk at hi spec derailleur gears and carbon frames. Sadly, I still use my sister's steel framed 10 year old bike with squeeky gears but I aspire to greater things.

With only 10 days to go until the Reading Triathlon I am regretting the vast quantity of cheese I ate in France and my woeful lack of bike & run training over the past few months.

I have downgraded my pre-race language from 'racing' to 'participating' in the event ... at least I will enjoy the swim.

So I am officially a 'Mamil' but just don't ask me what my time was at Reading.