Monday, January 28, 2013

It's an Alpha adventure

If you haven't heard or caught on, I'm going to be running an Alpha Course from Thursday evening. I am starting to get nervous about it, but at the same time, I am incredibly excited for the future of Alpha and where it will lead us. I could be running a second one before we know it, for more young people who have heard about it, but we will see!

Please pray with me, for me and for the young people that will encounter God!

I am going home to pray and eat!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Growing in faith week 1

Whilst my boss watches the tennis on the big screen and the band practices to lead worship in about 30 minutes, I will fill you in on what I thought of Growing inFaith, which is my churches response to the Transforming Presence document from the Bishop of Chelmsford.

Last Wednesday we gathered altogether for coffee and tea before watching Francis Chan, and his talk a out what God looks like and how we talk to him. I have heard plenty of people talk about the book of Revelation, some with passion (Mike Pilavichi) and some with fear (can't remember who!) but it hadn't struck me in awesomeness. Francis Chan said so much that I can't possibly mention all of it.

What is your picture of God? Is it a big man on a cloud who looks a little bit like Western Jesus, just a bit greyer? Or is it like the beginning of Revelation? Read chapter one, 12-17 slowly, and tell me what you think! Read the whole of chapter four, slowly and tell me if your picture changes?

We love in a society, Francis Chan says, that has the notion, has grown up with the idea that 'God is whoever you want him to be', which means we have watered him down, we have used words that don't do God justice. God says 'I AM' and nations fall to the ground, yet we wander into his presence and really don't take it seriously.

How are you coming to God? With the fear of the creatures who cry "Holy, Holy, Holy" or with absent mindedness and your shopping list on your mind? What is scripture teaching you about God?

Paul says in 1 Tim 6v16 that Jesus 'lives in unapproachable light' and that the honour should be to him forever! That's amazing! Yes, we are called to a relationship with Jesus, and the great thing is that we can go to him, and he will stand in the father's presence and petition on our behalf. God is holy, his name is holy and we shouldn't water it down at all.

After listening to Francis Chan, we were split into groups, for discussions about what we had just heard. Some excellent ideas and praying for each other came out of time in small groups, also some issues that we are praying about.

We sang at the beginning and end as well, which was encouraging for me!

Overall, I really enjoyed it and now I am sat in Church seeing how Wednesday night has affected some already and hoping that it will spread like wild fire.

It's Sunday and I'm looking forward a busy but lovely week. One passage keeps cropping up in my life, which I will stick to for the next couple of weeks... Ephesians 3:14-21

Friday, January 25, 2013

London a Capella festival

Today I went to the only festival I will go to this year, unless something major happens in my life and I start to like drinking and camping at the same time...

I spent 5 hours at King's Place, soaking up so much music! I have seen several choirs, the whole range of professionalism! Let me tell you all about them...

Rajaton are a Finnish vocal group who have been working hard since 1997. They are amazing and funny too. This is no glee show, their vocal compositions had us stood on our feet as they finished. I could not fault them and I will be finding out when they are next in the country.

We had lots of Finnish songs, some English and one Italian. Their great sense of humour meant they introduced an ABBA song as a 'Swedish folk song', which turned out to be Fernando!! Have a listen if go can or a watch!
They sung about death, with a lot of humour, and talked about how good they are at Eurovision! We had the 1989 entry from Finland. Being in London, they wanted to sing a Beatles song, so lots of dancing to Lady Madonna kept us entertained! They finished with 'under pressure' which was restored to something far better than the original! The six members of the group each had something to say about the songs, and everyone agreed that 'Butterfly' was their favourite and it's easy to see why... 3 men and 3 women who clearly have talent that is boundless... Which is what Rajaton means!

The choir of Clare College, Cambridge were first up, though Rajaton left a bigger impression on me. They sung in a variety of languages and as a 20-30 strong choir, they are very good. Being choral, they don't have a lot of expression as a choir, but they are amazing anyway! It was hard to follow without a programme and the director/conductor got his church calendar wrong.

Anyway, I have had an amazing evening!!! Looking forward to the next one!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Blue Monday

Today apparently is 'Blue Monday' - far enough from the last pay day but not close enough to the next one!

For me, today has been far from blue. Meetings galore, but all the fun of networking and future planning for Alpha and The Living Room! I'm not done yet, so we'll see how the final meeting of the day goes.

I never promised to blog more in 2013, but I do feel guilty that we're 21 days in and you've not heard anything from me. It's been all different sorts of busy - I have been busy doing nothing and busy working hard. It has been nice to have a really good balance to the year and being able to look at the diary, it seems like I'll have a really good year!

It's lovely to tell you that, if you didn't already know, I will have an amazing man by my side, and hopefully for a very long time. Ray has been a good friend for a very long time and now, after much pursuing, and a lot of courage, we're a very happy couple.

One day I will tell you all how it happened, but for now, know that one reason why I am not blogging, is because I have someone to share a lot of my life with!