Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Spiritual Growth and my desires for 2010

I desire and am determined to be different at the end of 2010 than I am
at the end of 2009.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Happy 2010
Actually I want you to have more than just a happy 2010 I want for you what I desire for myself, that is:
· A fresh encounter with God and a deepening of my relationship with Him.
· Not to be satisfied with having the same as last year.
· To know Christ all the more.
· For my prayer life to grow deeper and wider that I may continually learn how I pray with all kinds of prayer.
· To be renewed continually by His Spirit and empowered with His love.
· To hear from God and receive fresh revelation that I might be part of a prophetic voice to the Church and Nation.
· To have my eyes, mind, heart and guts opened to receive fresh understanding of the Scriptures.
· To have the size of my heart increased so that I may have the Father’s heart of compassion for all people and the faith to live in the light of God’s promises.
· For my walk to match my talk that I may love in deeds as well as in words.
· To worship with all that I am.
· To be offended by the same things that are an offence to God.
· To minister in the power of the Holy Spirit.
· To be God focussed and determined not to be hindered by the fear of man.

You might think I am asking for a lot but I believe that what I am
asking for, according to the Scriptures, God also wants for us.
I feel both nervous and excited about asking and will hold on to the
words of the motto for 2010 “Do not be afraid, I am with you.”

There are probably many more things that could and should be
added to the list, please feel free to do so.

If you would like to use the above as your desires for the coming year, please feel free to do so.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Lighting the way to the Light of the world

I have been thinking about how, if we are to be lights in the world drawing and pointing people to the 'Light of the world', our lives need to reflect His light.

The question I ask is in relation to the sermon I preached on 4th October and can be viewed by following the link in the worship section on the website - Do our lifestyle choices reflect that we have surrendered our lives to Him who is above all names.

It is worth us asking ourselves whether we try so hard to be accepted by the world that our lives offer no alternative way of living, as St Paul says "A more excellent way"

Watch what you (and I address myself here too) post on you Facebook, or Blog our you speak to or about others.

Jesus drew people to Himself through his holiness.. The difference is Holiness stands out whilst exlusiveness shuts out, being no different does nothing.

Our lives and our churches should be continually in the process of being transformed to be the people God has called us to be individually and collectively. We should offer hope alongside challenge.

Do you want to make a difference in the world? Then be different from the world. Stand out, don't shut out.

Do this with word and action so that our words and lives match - speak the truth in love and for the glory of God our Father, for His name and not to make a name for ourselves.

By the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us we can be more than we are now.

Bless you


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Back again at last!!

Thank you everyone who reminded me how long it is since the blog was last updated. Special thanks to the couple who married here two years ago and the couple getting married next year.

What a year it has been:
Paul Williams taking off to work in Mongolia, though Paul is back in this country now for a few weeks and will be joining us at St Mary's on 18th October.
Ola Franklin was ordained in July and has joined us on the Leadership Team.
Sam Brazier-Gibbs will be joining us in a joint venture with Church Langley Church as a Pioneer Minister with responsibilty for leading a team in sharing the love of Jesus in Newhall and also to continue the strengthening of our links with the local schools.

We have had delays to contend with in relation to the go ahead for the re-ordering of the church building but are determined to stay the course.

With Christmas not too far away my mind has turned to thinking about Joseph and Mary and of course the birth of Jesus. I wonder how they would have felt with the rumours, mumblings, false accusations, misrepresentations and the such like. I imagine there would have been times when they wanted to shout from the rooftops the truth of what was happening, but it seems to me thatthey were more concerned with knowing the truth of what God was doing and resting in His plans and purposes.

Jesus was the perfect example of staying focussed when faced with opposition. Yes, He brought correction at times, but He never let the attacks distract Him from the will of His Father. He who was without sin yet endured, comments such as, He is mad, of the devil, law breaker, blasphemer and so on.

So what about us, the church from the earliest times have faced many things and some of those accusations have proved right for which the church should be sorry and repent of but we should never take our eyes off the focus of our calling, Jesus Christ the Righteous.

Sadly some of our Brothers and Sisters of faith face accusations that lead to them giving uptheir lives for the sake of Jesus and we need to work for justice for those persecuted as if we were in that situation ourselves.

I have been asked, "How do you handle false statements etc" and I have to confess that not always as well as I should but I also remind myself that no matter what is said I will not have to climb Calvary's hill. I and you had some one who did that for us, Jesus Christ.

I commend 1 Peter 3:8-17 to you.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

comings and goings...

Well, goings this time...

This weekend we will be saying farewell to our very own Paul Williams, as he sets out for pastures new in Mongolia.

To catch the full story, head to our website

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Party-ing in the Garden Once More...

Well, last week, we were out in the church garden once more, raising funds for KIDZ KLUB, our joint outreach to the children and families of Old Harlow, alongside Harlow Baptist Church and Freshwaters Christian Fellowship.

Over £1,700 was raised for KIDZ KLUB from a whole variety of activities, from bouncy castle to cake stall, and an Auction of Promises, and much more more besides.

We're passionate about children and young people, and we look forward to serving the young families of our community through KIDZ KLUB in August. Click here to find out more!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Easter Reflections

Tomorrow being Easter Day here in England, members of St Mary's Old Harlow will be gathering to celebrate what is for us the greatest miracle of all time: the resurrection of Jesus. As the Gospel records tell us, this happened in early morning, while it was still dark and the city was asleep. But the impact of the resurrection of Jesus was to felt, not only through the rest of that day, but through all history since.

Something happened in the darkness of that tomb in the wee hours of that first Easter morning whose significance is still being felt around the world today. Various attempts have been made to explain away Jesus' resurrection, but the event is not explained by the expectations of Jesus' followers, none of whom expected it to happen, and all of them amazed and overjoyed after the event.

Checking the evidence for this event is a painstaking process, not one we have time for here. Jesus' resurrection highlights the significance of his death just two days before: death by the most gruesome means known in that time and place; death in place of a murderer named Barabbas, whose fate would almost certainly have been the same had he not been released, thereby sealing Jesus' condemnation.

The Roman governor at the time, perhaps the most famous Roman governor of all time, Pontius Pilate offered the people a choice, in keeping with a custom of releasing a prisoner at the time of the Passover. The choice was between Barabbas and Jesus; Barabbas was chosen and set free; Jesus was sent to be crucified.

Barabbas stands for a humanity out of relationship with God, a condition with all kinds of distortions evident across the world today, through greed, wars, man-made disasters, preventable disease, murder, strife and so on. One man dies so that another man can be set free.

Followers of Jesus today see his story at work in their own lives. They see in Jesus someone who died on their behalf, with all of God's anger at human sinfulness directed at him at that moment, so that they can enjoy God's love now and for eternity. They see in Jesus someone whose resurrection from the dead guarantees God's good future for them - not because they are anything special in themselves, but because of God's extraordinary love.

Much space in the New Testament is given to reflection on the significance of Jesus' resurrection. Finding out what it might mean for ourselves could depend on seeing what it means in the lives of members of St Mary's Old Harlow, some of whom will be baptised, and some of whom will be reaffirming their baptismal vows with full immersion in water, enacting, as it were, dying to their old lives without God at the centre, and rising to new lives with Jesus. All will be celebrating an event that happened in a cold, dark tomb some 2000 years ago.

Why not check us out and see what this extraordinary event in history could come to mean for you? We're here every Sunday and at other times in the week. We look forward to seeing you.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Christmas Reflections

Thinking back over the past month and reflecting on the Christmas build up and celebrations before turning my attention to looking forward to Easter caused me to think of the importance of sharing the joy of God with us with as many people we can and Christmas certainly gives that opportunity.

We were invited along with our brothers and sisters from harlow Baptist Church to lead carol singing in two local pubs as well as in the High Street of the Old Town. We had Visits for Schools Christmas Services from Churchgate, St Nicholas, and Harlowbury Schools plus I had the opportunity of taking part in Fawbert & Barnard School service at Harlow Baptist Church.

Adding to that we had the Little Fishes Pre School and St Mary's Under Fives (SMUF) Mums and Tots Nativity Celebrations.

Our Snday School (Kingdom Kidz) led us in a Sunday celebration of Christmas with the help of Little Fishes.

There was the Coffee Shop Christmas Communion

Some members of our Midweek Groups went around the Old Town singing Carols.
All this before we get on to celebrate with our Candlelight Carol Service, Christingle Service Midnight Carols and Christmas Day Celebrations.

How many opportunities? How many lives touched with the Good News of God with Us?
How many of us enriched by sharing our faith?

We ahd 260 people attend the Christingle around 175 attend the carol service and 120 attend the Midnight service, many of whom do not come that often at present and if we add to that the number of parents, friends and other family members of school children and pre-school children along with the pub regulars and neighbours in the town we can see the opportunities are vast.

In some small measure it captures the Shepherds story in Luke 2 where they praised God and spread the word concerning what they had been told concerning Jesus.

The Church looked lovely thanks to the Flower and Banner Teams.
The Christmas tree in the picture was donated to st Mary's by John & Barbara Barnes and wonderfully decorated by Hayley Smith and Carly Woods.

My next Blog will be to look forward to the way ahead.