I just came back from church where we saw a group of men, many of whom have served time in prison and coming from the most broken backgrounds being baptised. I was so excited as I heard their stories and then we were privileged to see them take that step, that sign of a whole new life. One of them (Michael) read my book Rough Diamonds when he was in prison for 17 years and had asked me to go in the water with him. What a privilege and what better day to celebrate new life in Jesus than Easter Day? Then I came home and my grandson wanted the TV on, and a movie is on about the Easter Bunny, who apparently goes all around the world today making everyone happy in a single day. Wow, never heard that one before! I’m not upset that a bunny tries to compete with Jesus, but when he’s stealing Santa’s job – that’s crossing a line! How do we see and make sense of what Easter is really about? Here are some […]
I spent a little time this evening looking through a little piece of the history of our church, as I read extracts from the Minute Book of “Ivy Cottage” Mission Hall. It started as a record of the ‘Womens’ Bible Class,’ then was unused from 1913 to the 50s. There are some fascinating insights into how Ivy saw itself as a MISSION from its inception, church planting, evangelism, and then that movement became a church as it formalized and hired Pastors to lead it (I’m in danger of doing myself out of a job here) and then started looking at various rules and regulations; and when that happened the pioneering and evangelistic work of women was also truncated. The record speaks for itself and there are some funny things to note along the way. Many of you will know Ivy started as a men’s Bible study group meeting in a house in 1893. I’ll have to look at their records some time too! Oct 5th 1908 – Women’s Bible Class held monthly business meetings and had 218 registered members who […]
God wants to grow us UP:
to stretch you in your relationship with God…
God wants us to grow IN:
to stretch you in your relationships IN the church…
God wants us to grow OUT:
to stretch you in mission and engagement with the world he loves.
Still shaking my head over yesterday’s phenomenal outpouring of love here for my last Sunday! The church family and local community came together for an amazing time of gratitude to God, quite overwhelming at times. Apart from making me eat unmentionable things in ‘I’m a Northerner get me out of here!’, having to sing ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams, and being presented with a beautiful album of our time here and far too many hugs and kisses – we were also really privileged to baptise 25 people! What a day – I will never forget it. Thanks to everyone – and thanks be to God! There are too many photos to upload an it takes ages – but here’s a little sample – Thanks be to God!