Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On Retreat

Currently on a four day retreat with thew Staff Team from Dromore Youth for Christ. We are trying to mix together four days of spiritual formation, fun, friendship and memories. So far so good. I have introduced these young people to an ancient form of entertainment...board games and then also to one of favourite past times, playing Buzz on the PS2.

It has been so cool just to hang out together, eat good food...I had my first stir fry! It has been class to go for walks, read my book, listen to music and watch movies.

If you are trying to think of a good stocking filler for someone for Christmas, I reccommend, Yahtzee, it's become something of an addiction on our retreat to the extent where team members keep sneaking off to play it by themselves on their free time.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

In awe

I went to The Mandate yesterday. I was plesently surprised to meet with God. I didn't really want to be there and I tried to get out of it but when I eventually got home at bed time last night I was glad I went. I am not really big on conferences because they tend to give you a boost, a kick up the back side, get you all fired up, send you out and about a month later you are back to square one. The other thing that happens is I get a little depressed at large gatherings. My thought process goes a little like 2000 men, imagine if 2000 men started living flat out for Jesus this country would be transformed, then it comes, like a big bang...the reality check...never gonna happen.

Yesterday though was different. Let me explain why.

Paul Reid from CFC. I have never heard Paul teach before, but I have gotta say I was and am in awe of this man of God. I am not one for heroes or having favourites but I was just blown away by every word that Pastor Paul preached. I could have sat under his ministry for a long time. He did something I haven't seen done before in a gathering like that. He taught the Gospel. He got 2000 Christian men around him and he taught the simple message of the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Grace of God. It was fresh, it was foundational, it was spiritually formational. It was almost as if God was saying Paul, I'm going to knock everything down, then you relay the foundation.

A day later and a church service older and a sunday dinner on down the line and I am excited that those simple truths that Paul taught yesterday are still burning deep in my soul.

The goal of yesterday we were told was the unlocking of Grace in the souls of men...gotta say
job well done.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Over the past few weeks I have been enjoying the privilege of having Sky+ It is amazing. I just love that I can watch what I want when I want. Ministry life means I get very little time to relax or just watch TV, now when I get an hour to unwind or a night off I can actually watch my favourite programmes, CSI, CSI NY, CSI Miami, NCIS, The Unit, Cold Case, Law and Order and I even watch a few programmes on the God Channels. I am a fan of Phil Baker and Riverside Church. They are currently teaching a series called, Think for a change, about Christians using their brains. It's great.

Anyway I thought I would stick up a picture I snapped from the roof of Castlecourt. It reflects my mood today as I think about change, about direction about the journey. It's deep, as we would say in Dromore.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Come here you

Been putting together the programme for The Gathering and I had a little bit of an encounter with God. I found this awesome video clip about God waiting for us and calling us to meet with him, first I thought wow this would be great for him and her oh and him and then I heard the whisper...and for you. God is calling me today. I am gonna get as much tied up as possible and then after lunch go and spend some time in the Base prayer room. I want to get close to Jesus today and hear something from his heart to listen to his intimate words of life and to remind myself that Man cannot live by bread alone

Monday, November 20, 2006

Interesting retreat

Was away with the staff of YFCNI on retreat at the end of last week. It was a weird experience. It was almost undefinable as to whether it was good, great, excellent or boring. Honestly I am still unpacking the whole thing trying to figure out when and where and if we met with God and what on earth was He saying. This is a really positive thing and so I guess even the journey suggests the answer.

I was however glad to get back on Friday and preach at The Gathering. It was a really cool night with a real community atmosphere. I taught on John 3 and Spiritual Rebirth. It is fascinating to approach John 3 looking for God rather than a pre-millenial, pre-tribulation, westernised, evangelical approach to the concept of being 'born again'

Anyhow I am taking this morning at home to do the ironing and cleaning etc and heading into work this afternoon. Looking forward to the next couple of weeks and some quality time with my staff on retreat next week.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Retreat time!

It's the YFCNI Staff Retreat this week. Myself, Cheryl and all the rest of the YFCNI team head to White Park Bay for some quality time together. I am really looking forward to getting away and getting some time with the Lord and with the guys. I am excited to see how the Base Interns get on with Cheryl and I out of the picture. So anyway I wont be able to blog for a few days. Blessings

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wipe out

Yesterday I wiped out. I was up early, feeling good and then about 10am my body just started freaking out, dizziness, headache, back ache and of course vomitting...mmm, I like! I was so sick I couldn't even watch tv (which is so annoying because i got SKY this week), I had to cancel speaking at The Gathering and go to bed. I spent the whole day getting up and down to be sick and lying on the bathroom floor thinking the world was going to end. Anyway I got up this morning and after a good nights sleep I feel much better. Still got a flu but at least I can see straight! The human body blows my mind how it has the capacity to fix itself. I guess for me that is a big God thing.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Going the Distance

Oh my goodness, this man knows me better than I know myself. That is what I thought when I started reading this book.
This book is going to be one of those books that changes everything about my life. It is as if someone has peeled back my head and jumped into my soul and started to tell me who I am, why I do what I do, why I feel what I feel and how to deal with the stuff that a life in ministry does to you. The book is about, well this is the blurb... Going the Distance
"Unfortunately, a growing number of Christian ministers don't seem to possess that staying power. 44% of all pastors who have been involved in ministry for more than 15 years suffer from 'burn out', or mental breakdown or serious illness. And that doesn't include those who fail to continue in active ministry for other reasons, such as immorality or loss of faith.
Going The Distance is about making sure you're not one of those statistics. Drawing on decades of biblical reflection and experience, Peter Brain explains how to keep fit mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for the long-haul"
Anyway this book has been written for people like me, people who want to live for God but who recognise they need help to do it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What a difference a day makes

I have been off work for a day and it has done me good. I have not really done anything but still I feel better. I have enjoyed the space, the time to think, reflect and just enjoy doing the ironing, washing the car, play the PS2 and flaff around. I am gonna grab my Bible now and go for a quiet time with JC. Blessings

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Getting my head together

My head is all over the place. I feel like I have been in a boxing match and I am dazed. I need the bell to ring so that I can sit in the corner and have a wee break. My thoughts are like disco lights, raving around my head, never staying focused on any one thing. I guess its time to get my head back in the game buf first I need a time to focus, to catch a vision, to assess the objectives.

I need a touch from my master.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bec's Birthday

It's Rebecca's birthday today. She is 25. I can't believe it. Time goes so quickly, it only seems like yesterday when I met Rebecca for the first time, she was 16. Anyway, Rebecca, you are the love of my life, and you are still a wee cutie, even if you are really old!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

What's Up Doc?

I made the mistake recently of working through the concept of discipleship with my mate Gareth. He is a big bible guy and studies with Precept Ministries, basically, he knows his stuff. So we spent about two months meeting, emailing, planning and intensively working through the idea of discipleship, asking the hard questions, dreaming up models and concepts of growth and following Jesus. We have tried to understand Rabbinic models of discipleship, modern models, post modern, we have searched the scriptures and gleaned from experts and we have finally come up with something that seems to work for us in Dromore Youth for Christ. It's called the DOC principle. It kind of flowed out of some teaching I did on 'what it really means to be a Christian.' It has since though become one of those things that you just know your life is going to revolve around and be bult upon. We really felt God lead us to 2 Timothy and especially 2 Timothy 2. Paul passing on his model to young timothy, he says teach others etc etc, then he hits him with the DOC principle. He says be like a Soldier (Disciplined) like an athlete (Obedient) and like a hard working farmer (Committed). We kind of figured this is at the centre of what it really means to be a follower of Christ. To be a disciplined, obedient, committed Christian...continually challenging yourself with the questions...what's up doc?

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Back to work this morning! I am not sure how excited I am. As I write this I see my staff walking through the door and I think, yeh, I am a little excited. It is a privilege to teach and love and serve these kids and their heart for Jesus inspires me on.

Yesterday I thought it would be nice to go for a wee walk with the Mrs so we went to Castlewellan for a walk through the forest and round the lake. We parked just outside Leitrim and walked about 5 miles in all. It was spectacular. The sun was shining and the trees were golden. I was thinking alot about Al Emerson's teaching on Sabbath, especially the bit about joining with God in creation.

Anyway I really was inspired by the beauty around me and Becci caught a glimpse of it with her magic eye for the camera. Enjoy some of the pics