Church Planting with a difference

Monday, December 27, 2010
Here's a great church planting story from the guys as Act29 network.

An Intentionally Missional Lifestyle from Acts 29 Network on Vimeo.


Friday, October 22, 2010

One of the most significant times in my Christian journey was the 5 years I spent in Edinburgh studying. Most of that period I went along to a local Episcopalian (Anglican) Church. They had very much got involved the controversial 'Toronto Blessing' . Initially coming from a conservative reformed background, I was extremely cautious of it but God used it to help fall in Love Him, His Son and His Spirit in a way I had never known. My prayer life radically changed. My appetite for God's word grew virtually overnight. I was ruined for Christ.

Yes there were excesses and parts that were questionable but I believe God was using it. Like it or not it has impacted our churches. I found a blog from the Vicar of that local Episcopalian (Anglican) Church with his testimony of how it affected him and his church. The church has grown from a small sleepy suburban traditional church to one of the biggest in Scotland making a significant impact for the Gospel in it's local area and wider. Interesting reading

Forget Kindle, IPAD ......

Saturday, October 09, 2010
try the Bio Optical Organized Knowledge Device (ht Randy)

Our Church's Top 10 worship songs

Friday, October 01, 2010
Just recently finished creating our Church song report for CCLI. In the last year we started using EasyWorship which is a useful tool for Churches in projecting songs words and presentations. While making life easier in creating a CCLI report it also creates some stats on how many times a song has been projected. Though I'm not convinced in some of the numbers and I don't believe we've played 'Who paints the skies' nearly 35 times. I suspect the numbers reflect how many times the song has been on the list to play but may never have been projected. So not altogether that accurate but below list will give you and idea of our Top 10 sung over the last year.

1. Who paints the skies Stuart Townend
2. Who O Lord could save Matt Redman
3. Here I Am To Worship Tim Hughes
4. This is how I know what love is Al Gordon
5. Mighty To Save Ben Fielding
6. Show Your Power Kevin Prosch
7. You Are Mighty Craig Musseau
8. The God of time and eternity Simon Brading
9. Ancient Of Days Gary Sadler
10. In Christ Alone Stuart Townend

Jesus Culture

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Have been listening to some of the Jesus Culture worship music recently. Just love this song. They came to our area recently and did a live gig. Dave has a good review of it here

Self Leadership

Saturday, September 25, 2010
Ok I found this on a secular website. It's quite a good list on self leadership. Ignore some of the new agey type references and add a a few tweaks here and there. See what you think

1. Set goals for your life; not just for your job. What we think of as “meaning of life” goals affect your lifestyle outside of work too, and you get whole-life context, not just work-life, each feeding off the other.
2. Practice discretion constantly, and lead with the example of how your own good behavior does get great results. Otherwise, why should anyone follow you when you lead?
3. Take initiative. Volunteer to be first. Be daring, bold, brave and fearless, willing to fall down, fail, and get up again for another round. Starting with vulnerability has this amazing way of making us stronger when all is done.
4. Be humble and give away the credit. Going before others is only part of leading; you have to go with them too. Therefore, they’ve got to want you around!
5. Learn to love ideas and experiments. Turn them into pilot programs that preface impulsive decisions. Everything was impossible until the first person did it.
6. Live in wonder. Wonder why, and prize “Why not?” as your favorite question. Be insatiably curious, and question everything.
7. There are some things you don’t take liberty with no matter how innovative you are when you lead. For instance, to have integrity means to tell the truth. To be ethical is to do the right thing. These are not fuzzy concepts.
8. Believe that beauty exists in everything and in everyone, and then go about finding it. You’ll be amazed how little you have to invent and much is waiting to be displayed.
9. Actively reject pessimism and be an optimist. Say you have zero tolerance for negativity and self-fulfilling prophecies of doubt, and mean it.
10. Champion change. As the saying goes, those who do what they’ve always done, will get what they’ve always gotten. The only things they do get more of are apathy, complacency, and boredom.
11. Be a lifelong learner, and be a fanatic about it. Surround yourself with mentors and people smarter than you. Seek to be continually inspired by something, learning what your triggers are.
12. Care for and about people. Compassion and empathy become you, and keep you ever-connected to your humanity. People will choose you to lead them.

TV and Kids

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I have always had a love/hate relationship with my TV. It sometimes has provided me with light relief from a days work but more often than not I've wasted many hours channel hopping, soaking in a myriad of Godless ideals and influences. Having kids I've needed to continually keep myself and my kids viewing in check. I think the YouTube clip below from conspiracy of freedom is great. (HT Simple Pastor)


Wednesday, September 01, 2010
I love being part of a church who is part of the New Frontiers family of churches. A few weeks ago some of the young people in our church went to the New Frontiers youth event called Newday. We've recently heard stories of how our young people have been impacted by the gospel message. Exciting stuff!

I believe the event itself saw hundreds of people coming to Christ and numerous youth testifying to God's healing power

Newday 2010 Review Video from Newfrontiers on Vimeo.

Lydia Hannah

Sunday, August 29, 2010

There's no doubt about it God is good. We really don't deserve anything yet God continually displays and reminds us of his utter goodness and mercy toward us.

We are so selfish, depraved creatures. Everything about us is so determined to build up self and hang onto our comfort. Without God's mercy through Jesus and being empowered by the Holy Spirit we're nothing.

These are just a couple of things the Holy Spirit has been making me aware of in the last week since the birth of our second child, Lydia Hannah. My wife and myself are so overjoyed that God has blessed us once again. In me there's a sense I'm really not worthy. In fact, I really am not worthy but for God's awesome grace lavished upon us.

A new born child really is a blessing but also demanding. Demanding times really bring to light what your character is made of. For me it reminds me how selfish and how in love with my comfort am I.

Mobile Phone sales assistant preaches to the world

Saturday, July 31, 2010
Great story on front page of the BBC News website. This lady probably thought she was going in to another boring day selling mobile phones. The next day she's preaching the gospel to millions over the internet! Who knows how God will use you in the hum-drum 9 to 5.

Have a read, click here

Sick Kids Worship song!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
You got to laugh

Character of a Songwriter

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Over a month ago some guys in our worship team met up for a song writing night. Being part of the vision of our church and part of the worship teams vision, we want to see songs birthed within our church both to be used by the church but also to reach out beyond a Sunday morning into our local community.

One of the things we looked at was the Biblical character of a creative person. More specifically we looked at Bezaleel and Oholiab from Exodus 35:30-35.These two men are reasonably unknown when it comes to Biblical superstars. But they created something that was intrinsic to the life of the Israelites and their worship of Yahweh. They crafted the ark of the covenant and the tent of meeting among other things as instructed by God. This enabled the Israelites to meet with God and worship Him. Similarly I believe our goal in being creative is to craft God inspired creations to point people toward God to worship him

Four aspects we can learn from Exodus 35:30-35;

Chosen - It mentions in verse 30 that God chose Bezaleel and Oholiab for this work. Being in Christ, we have been chosen for good works. That means we've got a job to do and He's given us everything we need to do it. We know we're chosen and are reasonably secure in our gifting. We know God is using us and will use use in what he given us. In being chosen we have a responsibility to use what he's given us

Filled - The best way to feed our creativity is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It's so true what we fill our minds with will come out in what we create. To be constantly saturated with the word of God and on our knees bowed in pray our hearts will fall in line with the heart of God. That spirit deposited within us will inspire our thoughts and action

Skilled - I've heard it said that song writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. God didn't choose someone from his people to craft his earthly habitation that had sat in tent all day drinking fermented grape juice, watching camel racing while playing on his Old testament version of PlayStation. No He chose someone who realised his God given talent and had invested years of hard work, and possibly finances into it. Who was focused on his calling, sacrificing other distractions.

Humility - Bezaleel and Oholiab were not of the X-factor generation. Asked a question by Simon Cowell where they want to be in 5 years and the majority of people will say sell millions of albums and be famous around the world. It seems that both Bezaleel and Oholiab are only mentioned a few other times in the Old Testament. Every time the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament is mentioned we don't see it proceeded by the words 'created by Bezaleel and Oholiab'. There was a real sense of God initiating creation, man playing his part and then giving it back to God. Our X-factor mentality wants to hold on to it to, to use it for our own glory. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying don't always put your name to a song but to be careful of motives. I think for example in a local church setting it can be helpful as people are close to the song writer and know his heart and how that comes through in the song. Also local congregations can take ownership of the song and it can express their heart of where they're at. As songwriters and musicians we need to wary of creeping pride and self promotion. It's all around us and we can so easily get infected.

Help keep the light shining

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I've got friends who own, work and are involved in our area's local Christian Book shop. Have a look, pray and consider getting involved. God's doing some amazing stuff through it.

Why I will support England

Friday, June 11, 2010

Being Irish I've always had a strong sense of national identity. I think this really comes to light when you move away from your country of origin. You realise to a certain extent that you're ever so slightly different. Having lived in England for about 10 years that sense of identity has become less and less strong. As the years pass you tend to forget that you have a different accent, different background ,arts, TV and culture as you slowly become consumed by the culture around you.

Also as you mature as a Christian your identity becomes less and less from what you can see around you or from your history. You become part of a new Nation that crosses all barriers, a new culture identified by the fruit of the Spirit and a new leader, Jesus.

There have been a few times over the years that national pride raises its head and no more so than when football is involved. As you've probably realised (unless on another planet or in USA) that the World Cup has landed. What a footballing treat this will be. This time it will be different as I will be supporting England contrary to the Celtic nation stance of ABE (Anybody but England)

My reasons are:

  • The only British Isle team in the Tournament. Thanks to a certain French man handling a ball, the glorious Rep of Ireland never qualified
  • My Wife, Son and my unborn Daugther are and will be English
  • Helps me fight deep rooted prejudices and pride.
  • I support and always have, Liverpool, an English team. When growing up after supporting Rep Of Ireland, I would have supported England.
  • In the light of the gospel, our great commision and glorious eternal future to come, football really is not that important.

Untill the 2012 Euros, 2014 World Cup or whenever next Rep of Ireland next qualify, I will be an adopted Englishman (for football anyway)

What if worship was like an NBA game?

Sunday, May 09, 2010
Following on from yesterday, more parody....

Sunday Morning

Saturday, May 08, 2010
Very funny!

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

HT Ian

Good Friday Live

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Worth a download! Free music from Mars Hill


Sunday, April 04, 2010
"We learn to appreciate the access to God which Christ has won
for us only after we have first seen God's inaccessibility to
from The Cross of Christ by John Stott


Thursday, April 01, 2010
Money can't save us! click here for proof.

Why I bought Delirious

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
As you may or may not know there is another Facebook campaign to manipulate the UK singles chart. For the Christmas No.1 we saw the over produced, bland and forgettable X-factor winner's (who's name I can't even remember and am not bothered to even google) song denied the coveted No.1 spot by a cracking song from one of my favourite bands, Rage against the Machine.

Now we have our very own Delirious heading up the charts as we speak with their classic, History Maker. This popularity thanks to 'Christian music topping the UK Charts' Facebook campaign. At the outset I must admit that I've purchased that very song tonight. As I write it is standing at No.4 on the ITunes. Thanks to Andy's inspiration, I have the urge to comment.

I really don't think musically Delirious deserve much recognition. Call me a musical snob but they are nothing new or interesting. They're not at the cutting edge of music nor pushing new boundaries. Like 90% of the chart music, I hear you cry.

Don't get me wrong, they've some great lyrics and nice tunes but they'll never be the next U2 or Rolling stones, that people can label them classic. Outside the UK Christian sub-culture they're as forgettable as tomato soup.

Within the Christian sub-culture they have really stirred up the Christian music scene and have played a big part in the progression worship in the last 15 years. The countless Christians (and maybe non-Christians) they have encouraged and challenged to live Christ like lives is probably numerous.

I'm not dissin' them for the sake of it. I'm so desperate to see music in the in the UK secular arena that is lyrically and musically challenging, innovative and above all Christ centred and Christ promoting. Bands that live what they sing not like some bands that have played to the US Christian market and once famous, deny Christ.

For so many years art and culture were inspired by Christianity. Look at some great painters, poets and musician over the last number of centuries. Where are the Christian bands that inspire and lead the way in the UK music scene? Why are we still playing gigs in our church halls when we should be down at the pubs?

Ok to the point, why did I buy this song when I've probably been quite harsh on Martin & Co.

- Cause I wanna see Christ promoted in the charts and it doesn't matter where it comes from.

- It's for a good cause. Proceeds are being donated to Compassionart.

End of rant!