Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday at Bill's

Huge pots of Redbush & Assam tea, chilled music, a foxy wife. A happy time ;0)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

1st brick of 2012

So today I rode 28miles and then ran 3.5miles in quick succession. This is known as a 'brick', the building block of triathlon training.

The bike went really well except I got soaked multiple times in heavy down pours. My feet were painfully cold by the end which made for a comedy transition as I attempted to pull on my trainers in an efficient manner!

The run went wrong after only 2 miles. I had inadvertently started off way too fast and it all caught up on me running up the dip in Beech Lane. I arrived home with heavy legs and a soaring heart rate. That wasn't the plan.

My first race is on May bank holiday Monday, a 400m pool swim, 20km ride followed by an off road 5km run. It is supposed to be a confidence booster in preparation for my target race at Windsor in June.

Without a doubt I need to fit in a few more bricks if I want to enjoy Windsor's 1.5km river swim, 42km ride and 10km run!   

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Jesus delayed ...

John 11 records that Jesus delayed, Lazarus died, Martha & Mary mourned ... and God was glorified through it. Whichever way we look at Him, Jesus will not be tamed by our requests. 

His love for us is expressed in something far greater, God's glory. Jesus allows Lazarus to die in order that the glory of the cross & resurrection be foreshadowed. He allows a brother to die and sisters to grieve because God is more glorified in the subsequent resuscitation and celebration.

I find these verses both troubling & joyful. 

They reveal that my having a trouble & pain free life is not God's ultimate aim. They point to Mystery; to something bigger than my horizon; more profound than us always smiling; the greater reality of a glorious God fully engaged in His creation.

Jesus is not being awkward or aloof by not immediately responding. He already has in mind what he means to do. So the sisters watched their brother die, wrapped him in grave cloves, put a stone across the tomb and left him for dead.

"Lazarus come out... Take off the grave clothes and let him go".

I don't know why Karena Mackay died aged 48; nor why Jasmine Allchurch died a few days before her first birthday. I can not begin to imagine the pain both families went through as their cries for help were not answered in the ways they hoped. 

But I do know that, like Lazarus, they will rise from the dead when Jesus returns and calls their names. I do know that unlike Lazarus, they will not die again!

When Jesus delays, we have to live with mystery. When He returns, then we shall know unbridled joy.  

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Caught not taught - Julian Adams

Some things in life need to be experienced not just talked about; we need to create time to be part of something rather than compress it into an offline teaching moment.

Much of God’s Kingdom is of this category, certainly receiving from Julian Adams’ is. He has a remarkable prophetic gift and a passion to see God’s people move in supernatural power for the glory of God. Deposits from him are caught experientially in meetings rather than just listening to his teaching via mp3.
Can I encourage you to book into the day conference on Saturday (21st April 10-4pm). I do sense the God wants to put a deposit into us as church through Julian, so we need as many RFCers to be part of that Saturday as possible. Book yourself in here.  

It won’t be convenient to take a day out and travel to Bracknell, but it will help equip us to come into all that God has for us.

Hope to see you there - Sean  

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Trying to manage Sunday morning growth

As our Sunday morning meeting continues to grow, new challenges are created. One of these is ensuring we have maximum seats free at the right time. 

 The Set-Up & Pack-Away (SUPA) Team are now putting out 335 chairs which uses all available space & chairs. Our average attendance last term was 256, the peak morning attendance was 302. Now, 30-80 empty seats sounds a lot but quickly get lost when several hundred RFCers stand/shuffle/jump to worship :o) 

Why am I telling you all this? As elders & deacons we have concluded that the morning meeting is nearing seating capacity for first 20 minutes when the children are in with us. This has created a problem in that some people have left the meeting because they couldn’t find a seat easily / were overwhelmed when they arrived. Others want to come in unnoticed and don’t want to create a fuss to find a seat. We must consider their needs ... and also make space for the many who have yet to start coming along. 

As a team we have often discussed this and now want to try a few things. The first being a 6 week pilot scheme starting this Sunday (15 April) where Crèche & Children’s work will start at 10:20am and finish at 12noon (Youth will go out at 11am as before). Once the children are registered in their normal rooms, they will be taken to the gym for a time of worship altogether. Parents can join them there if they want to worship as a family. This should make it easier to find a seat at the start of the meeting, because over 55 people will now be gathering in the gym. 

This pilot scheme will run until half term (3 June) when the elders & deacons will review it (your feedback will be appreciated!) Personally, I will feel the loss of us not all worshipping together. Yet I will console myself by believing it is for a season and that it is a price worth paying if others can gather to Jesus. We all need to embrace change with faith, believing that God will give us people and venues at the right time. 

We must be mindful of the needs of existing RFCers, as well as those who are looking in, and also those who have yet to start coming along. If you have any questions, please do contact me via email. 

Love, Sean (On behalf of the elders & deacons)

For those who missed it ...

For those who weren't there, here's a short clip of RFC cheering on the Reading Half Marathon... (just turn up the volume on your device before playing!)

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday - Mark 15

This wave of events was now unstoppable; Jesus had yielded to His Father's will and man was to do his worse. Jesus was to breathe His last.

v14 "What crime has he committed?" But they shouted all the louder "Crucify him!"

v19 Again and again, the soldiers struck him on the head with a staff and spat on him. 

v24 And they crucified him.

v26 The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS

v29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him.

v31 "He saved others" they said "but he can't save himself!"

v33 At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.

v34 Jesus cried out in a loud voice "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?".

v37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

v38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two. 

v39 "Surely this man was the Son of God!"

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Photos from Sunday

On Sunday RFC cheered on 16000 runners as they passed our offices:

I was so pumped as I passed our offices; I got round in 1:31:04

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

RFC Vision Video

In case you missed it on Sunday ...