Sunday, September 23, 2007

Seven days without prayer makes one weak!

I passed a church who displayed a poster with the statement 'seven days without prayer makes one weak' Pretty accurate if you ask me. I have noticed that when life gets hectic I justify skipping my prayer times, usually for spiritual reasons and then when my day gets busy, stressful and crazy I feel myself falling apart. I was stressed to the max last week and this little slogan came back to me along with the whisper of Jesus as he reminded me, if only I had spent more time at His throne, I would not need to worry about anything. Anyway, I think what I am trying to say is that I need to pray more.

Why am I telling you that, I don't really know but I think it is part of the journey I am on at the moment to be real, honest and authentic as a follower of Jesus.

Last week Alain Emerson, John McMullen and myself launched a new ministry in our church Emmanuel. The ministry, called True, is a missional community of twenty and thirty somethings, seeking to understand the teachings of Jesus and call to follow and obey. Our first night was awesome, with a sense of authenticity and truth coming through in a relaxed community gathering. Our goal is to see new forms of Mission rise up within our church for the glory of God and the furtherance of the Kingdom. I'll keep you posted on the journey.

Talking of Prayer, I had a real answer to prayer this week. In my last prayer letter I asked if anyone would have the capacity to resource my ministry with a new computer. My desktop was falling apart and things are tight financially. Anyway this week I had an email from a dear brother in the Lord who had it on his heart to meet this need. I was so touched by my friend's kindness. I don't want to mention his name because I know he would be annoyed if anyone other than Jesus got the glory. It was such an expression of love and support, friendship and Jesus. When I got my lovely shiny new laptop I found myself without words. I am so used to people being kind and caring but this was a whole new experience. I have been so challenged about my own giving through this and also the need to free up more money to bless others, knowing how much this Kingdom living stuff impacts lives.

Check out my shiny new laptop. It is sweet.

Thanks Jesus

Finally I want to mention my golf outing on Friday. Every week I meet with a group of Christian friends and we usually eat some lunch together and talk about life, marriage, ministry and rugby but last week we decided to free up some time and go for a game of Golf, well remedial golf at best. We were rubbish but we had so much fun, laughing and joking and making holes in the beautiful fairways. I am so thankful to God for all these guys. We sweat and bleed together every week on the rugby field, we share and pray together, we eat food together and we are there for each other. It is wonderful to have friends.

This is my bro Glen and big Mike, I still don't know how they fitted in to this buggy


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Update: All over the place!

I know, its been ages, I'm sorry, no excuses. It seems that for the last few weeks I have allowed things to get out of control. I have been jumping from meeting to meeting, I am in the middle of staff appraisals, preaching, fundraisers and on top of that Rebecca and I have moved in with my in-laws in Belfast. Hectic would not be a detailed enough adjective. The sheer pace of life since the beginning of September has increased expenentially. I am shattered.

I am now beginning to understand something of what it might mean for me to lead an organisation. The learning curve at the moment is vertical and the grace being afforded to me by the Lord is unbelievable.

So anyway, apart from this I am doing, sorry, we are doing ok. Bec and I have been managing to keep some time for ourselves and I am thankful that this is one discipline I have no problem keeping. Spiritually I am doing ok too, being in Russia was a helpful litmus test on my faith and also a time to tune in again to God and his communications.

Thankfully Cell started back on Monday night. I love my homegroup. We are such a random bunch of people, with very little in common other than Jesus, but it works. We love being together, praying, caring even loving each other. I meet God in Cell, I find little bits of his heart in community and in sharing life with others.

Rugby is now back full swing with a big game on Saturday with our local rivals. I am thinking that I might make this my last season as a player and possibly next year try something new, maybe walking or marathons, maybe golf or something, don't know what yet. We'll see.

Reached my target weight at the beginning of this month. I am now just under 13.5 stone. So what you say, well four and a bit months ago when I started this fitness thing I was weighing in at 16.5 stone. So I've shed a full three stone...and going. It has been such a spiritual journey for me, finding prayer and communications with God important. Who'd have thought? A sixpack? Maybe some day!! Anyway, thanks to everyone for encouraging me on this wee mini journey.

So long term Becs and I don't know what we are doing, we still feel this sense of God not giving us permission to settle down. Getting our house sold has become something of a spiritual battle and we have a sense of God saying he wants us to stay in Emmanuel, get involved and be creative about everything else. So we are now like proper city slickers, living in the city during the week and then home to the country for the weekend... all I need now is the BMW