I’ve been here through NewThing in Nairobi Kenya at the Viral conference the atmosphere is prayer soaked and the results are very evident! I have not been able to blog too much as I just want to wrestle with the implications of such an incredibly rich time though I will share some more thoughts in the weeks ahead as I remain doing ministry here, writing and teaching and learning from leaders in other cities here. One line is resonating as I write now from a talk from Bishop Philips Katutu, who said he stopped planting churches in 2016, then came to the Viral conference put on by Nairobi Chapel and subsequently became very intentional about it and has planted 23 since! He took us through the action in Antioch from Acts 13:1-5 13 1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul […]
In a newsagents today I was amazed how many magazines are still writing about the effects of the Reformation, 500 years on. This one in the New Scientist is fascinating. It’s widely held that Martin Luther never aspired to be a great theologian or meant to start a revolution, he just wanted a conversation about salvation that led to the Reformation (did you notice that rhymed? I should have been a rapper!). Reading Nick Page’s recent funny and informative book on the Reformation reminds me Luther was not particularly original either, he combined the ideas of others with the questions he had from reading the Bible for himself and posed some questions about the church in his day that was so far removed from the people it was meant to reach. The new technology of the printing press took his ideas viral and set ablaze a conflagration leading to movements formed that continue to multiply to today. I thank God for that. I thank God for the Reformation today. I thank God for those who gave their lives so that […]
Last night we went down to the seashore with some old friends to set off fireworks for bonfire night. One of the rockets somehow lost its fuse, then the fuse must have got damp because it wouldn’t light. All its brothers went flying off to do their glorious thing, while ‘Mighty Max’ could only watch from a safe distance like the rest of us. It was going to miss its purpose and party. What do you do when the fire goes out? Personally? What does a church that’s losing or lost its fire do? There’s no point complaining about it or willing it to go again. The potential may be there but it’s still going nowhere. Enter BIG BEN. We put no longer very mighty Max right next to Big Ben. When Big Ben went off, 36 glorious shots in all, well, there were 37. And number 5, most wonderful of them all, loudest and brightest, was Mighty Max. He didn’t need a fuse. He needed great company! This is a little parable for me as I think about New […]
Very much in line with my talk for tomorrow morning where I will talk about what happened when Matthew threw a great party ‘with Jesus as the guest of honour,’ this fabulous talk by a hero of mine will blow your mind about what Christianity is really about.
I get to meet up for breakfast with him most weeks and he’s one of the people who inspires me to GO FOR IT, I don’t want you to miss out on connecting to this passionate, uncompromising and gifted man and catch that fire!
Luke’s description of the work of the Spirit – it’s a prophetic empowerment for ministry, not lying down.
Everything we want to do comes out of love. Jesus sets a very high bar; don’t look at her with lust, she’s your sister Don’t look at him with anger; he’s your brother The fasting he requires is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, loving those that have nowt. He asked Simon Peter: do you love me? Yes Feed my lambs then If you love me – love them What else can save the world, our cities, but this love. A people caught up in love. The bible is a love story Not a rule book Matt 13:3-9 parable of the sower 19-23 unpacks and explains it. Jesus is sowing seed on planet earth Some – hard ground; ‘I just don’t and won’t believe that love story.’ Some had no root; shallow relationship. The first joy of the first date. No depth to the relationship. And some – it’s wealth that gets in the way. The cares of this world, consumerism is choking out the gospel in the world. Britain is full of rich young rulers who won’t give up […]
Anyone who knows my wife Zoe well will know over the years she has a great prophetic gift in dreams, really insightful and occasionally scary! The wonderful thing is how they come true in detail. It’s no exaggeration to say that every major move in our life has been foretold in a dream she’s documented. So the other night she had a dream – about a move of GOD that’s coming our way. This ties in with an increasing excitement I have been feeling, many reporting a palpable sense of the presence of God last Sunday in our service at Kingsway, a number of miraculous answers to prayer here at Ivy recently, one of our sites (the new one at Ivy Sharston) getting over 100 new people turn up last week; and reports from various sites I’m connected to of outpourings in various churches (especially that at my friend Richard Taylor’s church in Wales). It seems the spiritual temperature is being turned up! Here’s Zoe’s dream, from her notes. The bits in brackets are my explanatory notes. I was with […]
GREAT start to our time this weekend, Graham spoke BRILLIANTLY about thinking BRILLIANT. Tomorrow at the Armitage Centre we’ll hear more. Excited to partner with our friends from Christ Church Harpurhey and Vinelife, It’s not too late to book in – here. Here’s my notes from tonight… Around 25 years ago had 3 dreams: 1) a grey man in an old car was showing him round the grey city pointing out all the sin and problems in people, with a grey attitude. Depressing! Dream 2 – grey man in slightly better grey car saying, ‘We are doing courses to help them’ – that was even more depressing. Dream 3 – Bright young guy in a bright car, shouting encouragement that told them who they really were and it CHANGED the people! ‘This is how I see you – you’re going to be doing this!’ The city changed! The church has an old vehicle being driven by an old man. The old man is the old man that was put on Jesus. We don’t need to do that. God isn’t focused […]
As part of the Message 20 year celebrations, Frank did a mega-marathon preach at Ivy recently. I was privileged to hear some of the talks, and will put my notes from some of them on here, but the notes don’t do it justice! Get the full set of teaching on CD here by making a donation to the Message charity Mark 4:35-5:43</strong> There’s a lot of power at work in these stories collected by Mark. Power can be abused with terrible consequences. The whole creation has been hurt by the ABUSE of power but Jesus puts it right and reverses and renews it by the ABBA-use of power. By the end of Chapter 5 it’s 4-0 to Jesus. he beats the storm, the devils, sickness and even death. It’s breathtaking! Power over the Deep (4:35-41) The disciples were beginning to see many signs of who Jesus really was. The messiah? Yet different than what they expected. God was seen in the OT ruling over and subduing that place that was most scary for the Israelites – the sea. The boat […]