Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Taking it easy

It's nearly 4pm and I am just out of bed! Been having a lazy day relaxing with a few movies, the laptops and Rebecca. What I am most excited about today is that I am off work tomorrow as well. Due to only having one car sadly I cant go to rugby training tonight but I will do some extra situps and press ups to make up for it.
I am sitting looking out my study window and the trees are an amazing golden colour, the grass is blowing in the wind and green fields as far as I can see. The sun is shining and the sky is baby blue. It's a wonderful day.
It is just so good sometimes to just do nothing and then in the nothingness recognise the goodness. God is good.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Moving house

I am teaching tonight on John chapter 1: The title of my message is 'In a Galaxy Far far away' my theme is how God was logos, a concept, an idea, a power in the universe that controlled things...just like The Force in Star Wars. John said 'in the beginning was the logos' but the main thrust of my teaching is that God did not stay a distant concept disconnected from the thing that he controlled instead he became a part of it, John1 v14 says the logos became flesh (human) anyway what I really love is how Peterson puts it in The Message, I will let you enjoy the application yourself...

The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood...John 1:14 (The Message)

Bruce Milne in his commentary on John in the Bible Speaks Today Series suggests four reasons for this amazing trip through the universe, through humiliation, through creation as God joins the human race through Jesus

They are





What a great sermon that would gets me in the mood for Christmas

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Gathering

Spending today working on new websites for the ministry. 3 more to go and then I can do some other random thing. Anyway I would appreciate your prayers for The Gathering on Friday. I begin a new 8 week teaching series on John's Gospel. Sebomai, the Base Worship Band also lead in worship for the first time, which is exciting. Please feel free to come along.

Leadership Challenge

My friend and Pastor on Vancouver Island, Ken Castor posted this blog. I thought it was really interesting. He is studying for his Masters at Regent College, Vancouver

From Ken's Blog

Guy Saffold, an executive ministries director for Campus Crusade for Christ, is leading one of our courses this week on leadership. He's just one of those "leaders" who is "leading" me into a "leadership" quagmire right now. He challenges George Barna, who once wrote that "Leadership is the most important thing for the church." Dr. Saffold responds by offering a re-reading of Hebrews chapter 11, replacing the word "faith" with the word "leadership." It's funny. This is from the "New Leadership Translation:"

"What is leadership? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. God gave his approval to people in the days of old because of their leadership. By leadership we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did come from anything that can be seen. It was by leadership that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did... And although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us because of his leadership. It was by leadership that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying... It was by leadership that Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood... It was by leadership that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land... It was by leadership that Sarah together with Abraham was able to have a child... All of these leaders died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. It was by leadership that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him... It was by leadership that Isaac blessed his two sons, Jacob and Esau... It was by leadership that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. And it was by leadership that Joseph, when he was about to die, confidently spoke of God's bringing the people of Israel out of Egypt... It was by leadership that Moses' parents hid him for months... It was by leadership that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the son of Pharoah's daughter... It was by leadership that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground... It was by leadership that Rahab the prostitute did not die with all the others in her city who refused to obey God... Well, how much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the leadership of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By leadership these people over threw kingdoms... All these people we have mentioned received God's approval because of their leadership... Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of leadership, let us strip off every weight that slows us down..."

AND IT GOES ON. It is funny. But then why are we so tempted to replace faith with leadership? It's clear biblically, that faith may just perhaps possibly play kind of an important role in pursuing God's plans for ministry.

(Thanks for this insight and reminder Ken, I am reminded on something my own Pastor, Phil Emerson said, "it is disobedient to ask God to show you the future, faith is simply putting your hand in his hand and letting him lead you."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I made the mistake of reading Red Moon Rising this month. Now God has grabbed a hold of my heart and given me a passion for prayer in a way that is scaring me. He has started answering my prayers in a way that is scaring me. I don't Pete Greig (the author of Red Moon Rising) but I have a feeling I would get on with him. The guys at the Base are so passionate about prayer. We have this awesome Prayer Team (7 young guys) who meet together everyweek to intercede for Dromore, for Northern Ireland for the Kingdom.

I put them together their own ministry website this week so check it out. Leave them some prayer requests, maybe enjoy some time in the worship room.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back to the future

I don't know if you watched Back to the Future this weekend. It was on ITV3. What an amazing thing to do, time travel! I would love the opportunity. Last night was a bit of time travelling for me. I was back preaching in my home church, Castlereagh Gospel Hall. It was about a million light years away from Emmanuel or Mannafest, in fact it is about as traditional a church as you can get. Everyone wears suits, hats, big leather Bibles etc etc. I sold out and wore a tie! My brother was down and he gave me a bit of stick for dressing up. But I have to say despite dreading going back and being so nervous that I sweated about 3 litres of juice I really enjoyed it. It was great being back among humble people. The prayer meeting beforehand consisted of myself and 3 elders. The presence of God in the basement blew my mind. Watching these three humble giants really got to me. Years and years of ministry experience and yet they crouch low before God beseaching him for the salvation of souls. I came away from last night feeling encouraged, challenged, thankful and hopefully more humble.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Early mornings

I am not a morning person but thanks to my job and the fact that Becky and I share a car, or I scobe a lift, I have had to get into the routine of starting work every morning at 8am...yes 8am! I may well be the only person in the world in youth ministry who is sitting at his desk at that horrible time of the morning. The other thing I have noticed about my life and it's development in the last six months is the settling of a routine. I hate it but it has happened. But I have to say, it may well be one of the best things that has happened to me. I have learned the discipline of a diary (although I still overlooked one speaking engagement last week, much improved on last years five or six.) I also have time every morning to prepare for my team arriving into work. My devotional life actually exists and I have some time off work for like the first time ever. But it brings challenges leaving room for God, being responsive to God's spirit and being desperate for God's power.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My other passion

I love rugby. Next to Jesus and Rebecca it is next in line for my heart. I used to be a lot more serious.Back in the ten years ago...I was an Ulster Schools player, I played Senior AIL Rugby with Instonians and even won a Senior Cup with Inst. These days however I ply my trade at Grosvenor Rugby Club in the junior ranks of Ulster rugby. A former Grosvenor pupil and 1st XV captain I count it a real privilege to represent the green and blue every Saturday. We are only a Junior Club but I have to say I am probably enjoying playing more now than I ever have. The boys at Grosvenor are awesome. There about 10-15 Christians playing at the club which is brilliant and we are all active in trying to share our faith in the midst of the madness of Rugby. We are currently top of our league with 5 wins from 5 games. Changed times for us, last year we were rubbish. You might be interested to know that our team anthem, sung heartily after a Grosvenor victory is the kids praise song: there is a flag flying high from the castle of my heart. I find myself blown away to hear a rabble of big mouth heavy drinking, no time for God rugby players singing that THE KING IS IN RESIDENCE THERE!

John Piper says Missions exist because Worship doesnt. While worship is the ultimate goal of the church, mission is the central purpose because as of yet not everyone has bowed the knee...

My prayer is that the guys I sweat and bleed with every week on a rugby pitch will become worshippers and one day truly know what it is like to have the King in residence there!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's all quiet...

All my staff are away. Lawsy is at EQUIP at CFC, Cheryl and the interns are away training for Drama somewhere and for the first time in two days I am alone in my office. It is so peaceful and an opportunity for me to take a break from updating our child protection stuff and to simply relfect on things. I love it. I have been enjoying studying Nehemiah this week and have found so much support for ministry through this man's life and call. Today I found myself in awe of his ability to deal with conflict. Chapter 6 in the NIV is simply entitled...MORE OPPOSITION to the building of the wall. This guy has been getting it rough, taking it on the neck and just when there seems to be a breakthrough the opposition does not relent it actually intensifies... mental. Anyway I love Nehemiah's response in verse says , 'so I prayed "Lord strengthen my hands" I love that. In other words God help me work even harder. Help me go further, God despite how much this actually sucks because it is for you I want to keep going, strengthen my hands God, bring on the oppostition...bring it on. I found myself excited to read the title in the NIV just 5 or 6 verses later when it says, The Completion of The Wall. I guess God heard that simple prayer and strengthened his servant.

I found myself praying that prayer today. Lord strengthen my hands

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I love Sundays. They have become really precious to me. I guess they dont look very spiritual but the Lord knows how much I enjoy them. This morning I went to church, which was awesome...then I went with Becci and Pete to Fu Kin in Belfast for an all you can eat chinese. We then went into Belfast so Bex could take some pics for her course. Belfast was buzzing and I thought to myself interesting that Belfast in buzzing...on a Sunday. Then we all came home, tidies up are messy rooms and then proceeded to lie back and enjoy a CSI box set. The perfect way to spend a Sunday if you ask me.

I am really looking forward to this new week. Last week was tough. One of my interns has left which I am devastated about. Her ministry had such potential but at the end of the day she decided it was not for her. Having spent the last couple days processing and assessing I now need to be pro active about filling the gaps and keeping the ministry moving forward. I have a feeling God will show us the way.

But this week will face challenges no doubt. Every week does. Not once since I began my ministry in Dromore has there been a week were my phone has not gone or an email arive in my inbox and everything has to go on hold to deal with the issue at hand and yet as I look back God is always leading and guuiding and grace is sufficient for you sounds like a good text.

So bring on Monday morning and life in youth ministry. My prayer this week is simply that God will show me the way forward for my own ministry and life. I want help to discover the parachute moment. (Emmanuel guys will know what I mean)

Once more onto the breach...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Forgiven much

I am preaching at Real Youth Church tonight at Pete K's place, the subject...Our Forgiving God. I have spent this morning doing a mixture of cleaning my house, ironing and preparing my message. As I have read scriptures, researched on the internet, prayed, listened I have just heard and enjoyed the voice of Jesus as He says 'forgiven much!' I am forgiven much. I am too old now to buy into Christianity's constant measuring against know...I am definately better than so and I must be ok. Truth is I would be screwed were it not for the sweet love of Jesus. I think my old mate Paul called me out when he said, McCready...You were dead in your sins! I was dead!
If you Oh Lord kept a record of sins, O Lord who could stand?

Yeh I am forgiven much and so I recognise my huge responsibility to forgive much as well.

Alive in Christ

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Checking in

Flat out but gonna blog later. Ask seek knock

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Work work work...yes!

God has given me a great staff team here in Dromore Youth for Christ. They are just great. Sure there are times when I could scream at them, but I bet there are more times when they could scream at me. Recently I helped Pete make big L plates for our worship band to put on in their practice to remind them that they are just learning. I think more than anyone I could use a big L plate, maybe even a tattoo to make it permanent. I know I am just learning but I also know that I need to always be learning. Today I have been doing some study on Christian Mission and Ministry with the Open Bible Institute. The material was awesome, inspirational even worshipful as I learned and relearned the amazing Gospel and the call of the Gospel and the message of the Gospel. No wonder Paul could say I just want to know Christ and him crucified. So I have my L plates on today inspired by all the learning being done by my staff at the minute. Thanks guys for teaching me to learn.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Inspiration and perspiration

With only a few hours now before I stand to preach the Word to a thousand young people in Belfast I cant help but feel so unprepared. I have a few ideas but they are still just floating around in my head. I have lots of perspiration and not very much inspiration. I know God wants me to trust and to speak in his name and authority but humanly speaking I dont have a clue what to say. It has been one of those weeks were my staff have been very needy in terms of my time and so I have not had time to just sit at the feet of the Rabbi and get his heart. I am gonna go for a bath now and hopefully in the relaxation of the tub God will advise me on my sermon for later.

Friday, October 06, 2006


So tomorrow night I am preaching at Mannafest. I am so nervous at the minute I reckon I am gonnaneed to wear a nappy. It's not my first time at the big even but it has been almost two years and I am not doing a lot of preaching these days outside of Bible Teaching at The Gathering on Friday nights. God has rally laid some class scriptures on my heart but he still has not given me the message so this afternoon I am gonna send my staff home early and get some down time with the Lord of Lords. I will let you know how it goes

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Check out this story, its very powerful and challenging: The Amish Mourn

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just back from the cinema. Went with Pete & Lawsy to see Children of Men. It was random. So random I cant decide whether or not is was good or if I enjoyed it or not. Regardless it was great to chill and unwind for a couple of hours.

Had my Base Ministry Leaders meet tonight to share God stories with each other. It was so amazing to see, hear and be around these guys. It really encouraged me to keep on going to keep on seeking God. This year we have around ten ministries functioning weekly and an amazing team of 16 ministry leaders. What encouraged me most was that their average age was 19. I just wish I had been as excited to serve Jesus when I was 19. Anyway at the end of today I am going to rest my weary head with this thought in my heart...God is good. Despite a difficult week, much pain and heartache praying for Lindsay, challenging encounters in ministry I finish today thanking God because He is good and tonight I am thankful that although I am a child of men I am now a child of God.

New Blog Site

Decided to try a new type of blog. I had been previously blogging on The Base Website but I ave decided to try and figure out how to run my own blog. It looks a bit boring at the minute. Neil Harrison gave me a quick tutorial but I definately need another one. But I will figure it out, might just take a while. Anyway having had a couple of weeks break from blogging I am gonna try and get back into the habit.
This is a wee pic of me and a couple of my interns hanging out in Hillsborough Forest Park