Friday, February 27, 2009

Time With God

I have now added a set of photos on flickr for last weekend's Time With God. Please feel free to have a look and read some of the 'writing on the wall' and 'washing line' prayers.

For those that don't know, for a few years now our church has done a 24 hour stint - every 6 months or so - where our centre is open for people to spend some time with God. People have the option of candles, music and the chance to write on the wall – actually on flipchart paper that we blu-tack on the wall. Two or three years ago we started bringing in art materials too and on one occasion we had some prayer stations including last time the idea of writing or drawing your prayers and pegging them to a washing line. We have always said that how people spend the time is between them and God. But this time the feeling was that at least some of the time was to be spent in intercession for the world.

So last weekend we were busy bringing in more candles and throws and beanbags. We provided people with loads of suggestions for prayer including local items and information on international issues such as the current financial crisis. Helen made displays about Christians that we have relationship with including some in Zimbabwe. We used visual prompts such as a globe and maps. For example, Nettes & I laid out an activity to turn weapons fashioned out of tinfoil into ploughshares as people prayed for peace. We also placed some herbs in the kitchen to eat while people could read a meditation on slavery and a prayer for those enslaved today.

Steve Watts, our elder, was excited about finding a set of ‘soaking’ CDs that someone had loaned to us for the time. He soon began to meditate on God relaxing on a beanbag. Through the night we were praying, worshipping and producing pieces of abstract art. People came and went in the early hours of the morning. I had a good time praying with Jackie early in the morning about liberation and we were writing out things that we wanted to get rid of in our own lives as well as in the world - such as fear, insecurity and poverty - and throwing them in a waste bin. On Saturday, Nettes and Callie went and Callie took part by painting a picture of heaven and by praying for China. Callie is only five.

We received some really positive comments about the event and hope to do this again later in the year.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't be a shadow

We’ve just finished Time With God which I will blog about later this week. But I just wanted to say that at our church prayer meeting last week we had a good time of silently waiting on God. One phrase that came to my mind was inspired by one of Steve’s photos displayed in the room. (Unfortunately I don't think Steve is on flickr so I can’t link to it.) This phrase has stuck with me all this week: Don’t be a shadow that blocks the light – be transformed so that people can see God in your relationships. I thought it might be worth a mention.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Soup Run

A group of us were out last night in Birmingham with Paul and Jackie Atkin giving out soup and rolls as well as some blankets, from a van. We had a good time chatting and listening, building relationships with those we met - even though one homeless guy was drunk another a bit aggressive to his mates. Paul prayed with one man. I had a good conversation with another who asked about enlightenment! Soon we got onto exploring what Jesus meant when he said to love our enemies. And one chap was just walking around the van until we left because he felt it was a safe place.

Related posts:
Down and Out in Birmingham
Churches really are working together

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why I am so proud of my wife

I met my wife Nettes eight years ago through a Christian dating website – Christian Connection. I have so many reasons to be proud of her. I love her creativity. I love her artistic talent. The list could go on.

We have always tried to share the domestic chores and child care but I find that Nettes is often left doing more than her fair share. I know we’re not the only ones. But I think she is extremely patient with me.

I love her heart for doing mission here in the inner city of Birmingham. I love the way she reaches out to people. She just loves mixing with people in the neighbourhood. I love the way she has made friends with asylum seekers. And I love her enthusiasm to meet people through our church's Drop In.

This week she came home with a bundle of leaflets about social enterprise. A friend had set up a successful social enterprise called Sport4Life. "Here are some organisations we could contact to see if we could do something like that," she said. "Perhaps this could be the next step with the ministry to the homeless?" I just love the way she is always striving to move forward in God.

I love you Nettes. Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sea Parable

Sea Parable is a moving little three minute cartoon by Andi Mac that encapsulates all of Church history and the Church's reluctance to evangelise. It really packs a punch.

Thanks to Jonny Baker for this link.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Currently as a church we are discussing spiritual gifts. And recently on this blog I posted about missional living. So when I found a set of articles that link these two I was understandably excited. Charismissional is written by Robbymac, Brother Maynard and Emerging Grace (now Kingdom Grace). These three appear to have had similar experiences of being leaders in charismatic circles only to become disillusioned by extremes and abuses. But having left their positions they still find themselves passionate about the gifts of the Spirit. In their new settings they are now finding a new outlet for these gifts in missional living. Go on have a look.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hope in the Snow

"Re-awakener of the earth…
your promise is there to be seen, this day…
be the care that creates the world and renews in apparent barrenness…
For I know that buds will burst from their hard shell,
and spring will follow winter,
and so may I know your unseen hand..."

from the celtic wheel of the year
by tess ward

I nipped out and took this photo of the Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' in our garden. Flowering with red blossom it looked lovely covered in snow. I thought the photo went well with this prayer from the little book I use for my devotionals. So I put the two together in this post.

Sunday, February 01, 2009