Thursday, 28 October 2010

St Petersburg

Liz & I are still processing all we experienced over the weekend with Dave & Hanna in St Petersburg (SPB).

We arrived on Friday at their flat in central SPB, around 5pm local time. Their children were returning home from school and family Henson was in full swing. Before long some of their Russian friends joined us for tea & cake, although we understood very little as they were all speaking Russian.


On Saturday morning we went for a boat trip around the canals with Dave & Hanna and their children. With a dusting of snow on the ground it felt proper cold, we were issued with blankets when we went out on deck.
In the afternoon Liz & I hosted a marriage seminar for the leadership team at Hope Church (a pastor & wife from another church also attended). This continued over dinner in the evening and was great for getting to know them all better.
On Sunday I preached at their church meeting with someone translating. A tongue was given and the interpretation was brought first in Russian, then in English ... very cool! The meeting finished at 1:30pm but the ministry time continued another 3 hours.

In the evening I spoke at a leaders meeting on relationships in church life (which was attended by pastors from another church).

On Monday we flew home, but not before an official confiscated some Russian honey from us. I guess the biggest impression we have been left with is the joy of partnering with Dave & Hanna and Hope church, SPB. To be amongst them on your behalf was a real privilege, even though it was exhausting!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Off to St Petersburg

Tomorrow Liz and I are off to see our dear friends Dave & Hanna Henson and the newfrontiers church in St Petersburg. RFC have been supporting them for a few years now so this trip is long overdue!

On Saturday we will be spending time with some of the leaders and on Sunday I am speaking (as well as meeting with other leaders in the evening). They seem to have a busy schedule for us and it will be fun doing ministry with Liz.

We also hope to see something of the city, they tell us it is very beautiful ....

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Christmas Carol Concert

Flyers will be available this Sunday!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

News from Perth

RFC support family Cornford and the newfrontiers church they joined. See below latest email from Pete:

"Thankyou to all at RFC and Praise God for all he has done! In the 16 weeks since the Cornford family landed in Perth Western Australia we have much to thank God for:
• The people already on the ground have been very welcoming and supportive
• Our 3 Kids have got into local schools
• Within a week we found a house to rent and within 2 weeks we had brought a car
• The church income has risen by almost 50% a month
• We have closed 1 house group and started 3 life groups
• We are introducing teams to Sunday mornings with over 85% of folk signing up (many on multiple rosters)
• It was great to gather every Sunday night in August to pray
• Exciting to see several people following a challenge, buying and reading the John Ortberg book ‘If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat’, as we embark on a journey of faith.
We are really looking forward to having Terry & Wendy Virgo with us for the last weekend in October and believe God for a powerful impartation to the church.

Please Pray
• Great to thank God for all He has done
• Please pray for our family: the kids to find friends and for all of us to overcome days of homesickness.
• Please pray that the church grows, that a worship leader emerges, that a leadership team develops, that people are saved and baptised.
• Please pray that we know the powerful presence of God with us"

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Robbed

Yesterday at work I had my cheque book stolen from my bag (I had popped out to buy the children their 'Chocolate Friday' treats). I bumped into the culprit as he left our offices - I even escorted him, in my usual cheery manner, out of the building ... Dohhhh!

So my pocket money account is now all but empty (it appears it took him 17 minutes to cash the first cheque at the bank). Hmmm. An inconvenience but it could have been worse ... assuming I win my fraud appeal and they credit the money back!

Lessons learnt:
#1 Not everyone is as honest as the people I spend time with.
#2 I can afford to have money stolen, I'm not upset or panicking.
#3 Children process things differently to adults (this episode initially upset them).
#4 And of course the obvious, dont leave cheque books unattended, even in churchy places.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Beginning with Moses - week 1

On Sunday we started our new sermon series entitled 'Beginning with Moses'. If you missed the sermon you can listen to it here and it is outlined below. The graphic is reproduced by permission from 'God's Big Picture' by Vaughan Roberts (buy a copy of his excellent book here for £5:56)

Read Luke 24:13-27
These two followers of Jesus were struggling to link the events of Jesus’ crucifixion with the Old Testament. Many of us can relate to that … we simply haven’t had time or teaching to help us think about how the OT relates to Jesus. The aim of this sermon series is to give us an overview of the OT: To see it as a progressive, unified, unfolding of salvation history which, as Graeme Goldsworthy puts it, 'reaches its goal, its focus and fulfillment in the person and work of Christ'.

The Bible is One: The Bible is a diverse collection of writings. It contains 66 books written by about 40 human authors over nearly 2000 years. That said, it is fundamentally, one book written by one author with one main subject. God ensured, by the Holy Spirit, that everything they wrote was exactly what he wanted them to write. The one supreme subject that binds it all together is Jesus and the salvation God offers through Him. In the OT God points forward to Jesus and promises his coming in the future. In the NT God proclaims Jesus to be the one who fulfils all the promises

The Kingdom of God: Vaughan Roberts defines God’s kingdom as: ‘Gods people in God’s place under God’s rule and blessing.’ God longs for human beings to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him in his presence.

Pattern of the kingdom: In the Garden of Eden we see the world as God designed it to be - God’s people (Adam and Eve) live in Gods place (Eden) under his rule as they submit to his word.

The Perished kingdom: Sadly, Adam & Eve think life would be better if they lived independently from God and they are banished from the garden, they are no longer under God’s rule or blessing.

The Promised kingdom: God calls Abraham and makes some unconditional promises to him – through Abraham’s descendants God will re-establish His kingdom.

The Partial kingdom: Through the exodus from Egypt, God makes Abraham descendants His very own people. At Mount Sinai He gives them His law so that they might live under his rule and blessing (the blessing is marked chiefly by God’s presence in the tabernacle). By the time David & Solomon are king, the people enjoy peace & prosperity; they were God’s people, in Gods place (Canaan), under God’s rule & enjoying His blessing.

The Prophesied kingdom: After Solomon’s death, the kingdom split in two. 200 years later the northern kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians, the southern kingdom struggled on for another century but they too were conquered and its inhabitants taken in exile in Babylon. During this depressing period, God spoke to his people through prophets. They pointed forward to a time when God would act decisively through his King, the Messiah, to fulfill all His promises. God people did finally return to their land but it was only a shadow of the former glory. This is where the OT ends; God’s people waiting for God’s King to appear to introduce His Kingdom…


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Newfrontiers Prayer & Fasting

Scott, Josh John and me are spending the next two days with approximately 600 other leaders here in Peterborough. It is so good to be back amongst our spiritual family, being part of something so much bigger than life at RFC.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Scott on the Holy Spirit

On Sunday, Scott preached a great message on what we believe the Holy Spirit's activity is within the life of RFC. If you weren't there on Sunday, do try to make time to listen to it and then ask the Spirit to come upon you!

Listen to the sermon here

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

new sermon series @ RFC

This Sunday we start a 9 week sermon series entitled 'Beginning with Moses'.

The title comes from Luke 24v27 "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he (JESUS) explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."

The aim of the series is that we see the OT as a progressive, unified, unfolding of salvation history which, as Graeme Goldsworthy puts it, 'reaches it's goal, its focus and fulfillment in the person and work of Christ'.

I found Vaughan Roberts book 'God's Big Picture' to be very helpful, its an easy read and only £5:56! That said, here are some other books I've found helpful:
  • Gospel & Kingdom – Graeme Goldsworthy
  • Understanding the Bible – John Stott
  • Dominion & Dynasty – Stephen Dempster
  • A passion for God’s story – Philip Greenslade
  • Bible Overview – Steve Levy
  • Salvation belongs to our God – Chris Wright
  • According to plan - Graeme Goldsworthy
  • Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament – Chris Wright
  • Mission of God – Christopher Wright
  • A great website for all this is beginningwithmoses.org

And yes, I still feel sad about yesterday's 'Marie Stopes' encounter .

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Did I do right?

Today whilst returning from a lunch time run, I came upon a tearful woman asking directions to the Marie Stopes centre on London Street. Without thinking, I gave her directions and then ran on up towards our offices. And as I did so, I realized what I had done, I had shown the way for a baby to lose their life.

I was filled with confusion.

I resolved to find the woman again and tell her about Reading Lifeline, whose offices are opposite the clinic. I caught up with her, now with a young couple, near Marie Stopes and as I spoke, she cried. The young couple would not/could not look at me, they had an appointment to keep.

I gently urged them to delay and get pre-abortion counselling at Lifeline. I then let them know that Lifeline also do post abortion counseling. As I stood before them, a sweaty stranger in running gear, I was acutely aware that an unborn life hang in the balance.

I don't know the outcome, I left them there outside Marie Stopes. I cried. Did I do enough? Did I plead for a life gently enough, for long enough?

It seems to me we all lost something... but none more so than that baby who, presumable, lost his/her life this afternoon, as I sat in my study just a few doors away.

Men's Breakfast @ Frankie & Benny's

Just over 22 years ago (before I was saved) I met a guy who didn't like the fact that I was trying to date his Christian friend. He made it very clear to her that I was bad news and should be avoided at all cost.

Since that shaky start, our friendship has endured the different paths we've walked since leaving Uni. Tim joined the Army, served in various theatres around the world and is now based back in the UK, with the rank of Leftenant Colonel.
I have asked him to speak about the some of the lessons he's learnt about following Jesus in the workplace ... and also some of the scrapes he's been in (a wrong turn whilst driving a Landrover led to a standoff against a foreign tank!).

So please put this date in your diary Saturday 20 November, 8-10am, Tim's a great guy and Frankie & Benny's do a huge breakfast.

Friday, 1 October 2010

RFC in the movies

Check out this short film about FRONTEDGE and spot footage from RFC when Chris Kilby was with us. It was a great morning!!!