Sunday, 26 April 2009

Meekness and majesty...

We’ve had a ‘worship feast’ lately, what with Mark Tedder last weekend and then An Evening with Graham Kendrick Friday evening. It was a sell out, with over 700 packing into the King’s Centre, and what a great evening – outstanding worship as well as some inspiring performance songs, new & old from Graham.

Graham Kendrick has been around for a good number of years now, in fact it must be over 25 years since he first began to write songs and perform, and in that time he has served the Christian community in this nation and beyond, very significantly and with great integrity. No small achievement.
This weekend I was teaching on our Leadership Training programme on the subject Leadership in Action, and I touched on the whole subject of personal integrity and handling ourselves well as Church leaders. Unfortunately, all too often we hear of leaders and those in prominent positions, tripping up, falling into sin and having to withdraw. And the ripples of disillusionment are felt by many. Starting well is one thing, but finishing well is quite another.

In his little book entitled Humility – True Greatness , C J Mahaney writes:
.. no matter our age or vocation, humility is our greatest friend and pride our greatest enemy.. Contrary to popular and false belief, it’s not “those who help themselves” whom God helps; it’s those who humble themselves.
I have another book on my bookshelf with the very helpful title: It’s Not About ME (by Max Lucardo). Which brings us back to the theme of worship, because true worship always seeks to magnify God, making HIM great, and puts us in that safe place of God-centred wonder and gratitude.

Make space in your week for worship; it will do you good and keep you safe – focussed on the God of meekness & majesty.


Sunday, 19 April 2009

Copenhagen and sounds of Beijing...

It’s been an eventful few days – Thursday and Friday in Copenhagen with Josef and the leadership team of CCC (Copenhagen Community Church) and then back to Norwich where we had Mark Tedder with us to lead worship at Kings City Centre.

First, Copenhagen. I travelled with Steve and we arrived in time for some catch up time Thursday evening with Josef, David, Finn Allan, Joy and Bono over a good meal together. Josef has recently returned from Antioch, Turkey, and it was great to hear of the progress that he is making there. As for Copenhagen, it was really encouraging to hear of the things that have been happening at CCC - the visitors that have been finding their way to the meetings lately, and the sense of the presence of God. Great!
Part way through the meal we heard the news that the hotel where we were staying was burning down! In the end it turned out to be the building next door, but it made for a few moments of interest! Life is never dull when with these guys!
Friday morning we went looking again for a new venue for the Sunday morning meeting. At present the church meets on the 3rd floor above the Irish Pub in the heart of the city, but they are full to bursting. Last time I was with them we came upon a great location on the ground floor, just around the corner, which could accommodate 300+, so we went back for another look and had a very encouraging discussion with the manageress. This could be great – do pray about this! It’s a Hospitality School that specialises in catering…. Sounds to me like a great place for a church to meet!

Then back to Norwich, and Mark Tedder. Angie & I got to know Mark & Carrie when we were in Beijing. Mark was leading worship at BICF, and we became good friends, so it was great to meet up again, exchange news, and then have Mark lead worship at the City Centre site this morning. What a great time – a wonderful sense of God’s presence as Mark taught some songs from his new album, The Door, recorded live in Beijing. Outstanding! If you want a copy, be quick because we’ve nearly run out. My favourite track so far? Track 8: ‘Be Still’

Have a good week!


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Monday, 13 April 2009

Worship matters...

My fellow elder Toby has a phrase he picked up somewhere along the lines that at any time he is potentially just 10 minutes away from discouragement! Now let me assure you that Toby is a well adjusted, positive, faith-filled guy! But what he means by this is that there are so many avenues of thought surrounding us, that we just have to go down any one of them without due care and hey presto, we’ve discouraged ourselves. Just take a look at the main stories in the news any day of the week. And that’s why worship is so very important.
I’ve just got back after my morning jog during which my faithful ipod floods my mind with great worship, with the help of Brenton Brown, Stuart Townend, Chris Tomlin, Mark Tedder and others. This has been my habit for many years because I have discovered that as well as keeping me reasonably fit physically, it keeps my life in the enjoyment of God, and, to quote James Fraser, There is a beckoning joy in God’s gateways.

This coming Sunday we have the privilege of having Mark Tedder to lead worship at Kings, City Centre site. Angie & I had the pleasure of getting to know Mark & his wife Carrie whilst in Beijing, and so when I heard that they were in the UK to lead worship at Spring Harvest, I was keen to get them to Norwich for the weekend. Mark will bringing copies of his latest CD / DVD The Door which was recorded live in Beijing last year . So bring some extra cash with you on Sunday and get a copy!

Before we get to Sunday, I have a couple of days in Copenhagen with that excellent church that we are getting alongside to work with there. As soon as their website is back up & running, I’ll point you at it for more information to fuel your prayers!

Have a blessed week!!


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