I was going to write a blog…

June 11, 2019
spiritual armour

Put on the full armour of God (Eph 6:11)

I had hoped to give a day by day account of Thy Kingdom Come. I wanted – perhaps for my own ego – to share all the church was doing and the wonderful events that had taken place. I wanted people to see that the Lord is very much alive and active in Stoke and Devonport.

 

But TKC 2019 didn’t quite work out like that. Yes, I had some particular significant conversations with folk outside the church, and some special times of prayer. However what TKC 2019 showed me above all else is that we are engaged in a spiritual battle.

For some people right now it is tough being a Christian. Some are becoming discouraged, or feeling defeated. Some are drifting away not because of any lack of faith but because the pressures of life are simply so great.

And the evil one loves to pick individuals off. He loves to separate church members from fellowship and make them feel weak and isolated. That is why it is more important than ever that we all come together to worship, to pray and yes, to praise. Joining together in worship may be the last thing we want to do. It may be a sacrifice that seems too great to bear. But there is one antidote above all else that defeats the devils schemes  – it is coming together to put on the armour of God so we can stand firm on the day of evil (Ephesians 6:11-18).

When we were in Kenya, we came to a church which once was struggling. Commitment and attendance were low. The church came together and received a picture from the Lord of a sleeping elephant. They prayed together, they took action, and now they have a new vision of a dancing elephant, powerful, strong and awake.

If we can come together, we too can see new life and growth. So I am asking you as your top priority to join together on Thursday evening at St Michael’s for a time of prayer. If you can come for food at 6.30pm that would be great. But come anyway at 7.30pm as we pray about the whole theme of spiritual warfare. And bring others with you, as together we seek the Lord’s will, and claim the victory that is ours in Christ.

I very much hope to see you all there.

 

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Thy Kingdom Come – Days 3 and 4

June 4, 2019

Try praying

It’s easy to think of kingdom work as bold, new initiatives which draw in loads of people, and lead to massive church growth. But Jesus likens the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. And the weekend felt very much like mustard seed planting.

At St Michael’s, as always, the congregation was about 50% different from last week. It was an All-Age Worship but no children came, although we had a number of young adults. Nonetheless there was a sense of the Lord present in our worship, and I am sure seeds were being planted. I am so grateful for the faithfulness of what others would label ‘a small inner-city congregation’, and I think so often the unseen kingdom work that goes in a church such as this can be undervalued. As we saw in our anniversary celebrations, the Lord keeps on working here, no matter how many or how few may be entered on the service register.

At St Aubyn’s  we are literally starting a Sunday afternoon congregation from scratch. We haven’t reached double figures yet, but again we see different people from week to week. We are told not to despise the day of small beginnings, and I am very much looking forward to see how this work will grow.

 

 


Thy Kingdom Come – Day 2

June 1, 2019

Try praying

There’s very little to add to what Lynda has written on the main site.

I am reminded of an old, old hymn “Count your blessings one by one, and you will be amazes at what the Lord has done.” From the outside we may be a small, struggling inner-city church but God does some remarkable things here and it is a privilege to serve in this place!

 


Thy Kingdom Come 2019

May 23, 2019

Try praying

As far as I can tell, this will now be our fourth year of Thy Kingdom Come. Each year we have a plan and timetable, and yet each year God surprises us with what He does. It’s been fascinating to look back and see what He has done in previous years, and you might want to look at my blog entries for previous years:

2018

2017

2016

The one constant we have learnt time after time is the important of prayer. When we pray, things happen! Sadly so often it seems that only a keen minority of any given church are pray-ers. Many ministers report that their prayer meetings are least well attended events of the week or the month. Maybe some don’t feel confident praying with others. Maybe some are unsure what difference their prayers will make. Maybe some see praying as relatively unimportant.

Yet as our mission action plan shows, the life of the church is rooted in prayer. Our aim is nothing less than for every church member to have some pattern of regular, personal devotion with Jesus. I long to see a church full of confident faithful prayers who regularly spend time together seeking God’s will and with a passion to see God’s kingdom come in Stoke and Devonport.

So our simple theme for 2019 is “Try Praying”. We want to encourage folk who have never prayed before or who have questions to try praying for the first time or in a new way. We want to encourage those who pray to faithful, regularly pray for family and friends who do not yet know the Lord. We want to encourage those who do not normally come together to pray to put aside their fears and concerns and join in with our prayer.

A quote from Samuel Zwemer I recently rediscovered: The history of missions is the history of answered prayer. It is the key to the whole mission problem. All human means are secondary.  That is something we are learning in our current short sermon series from Acts. Paul, Peter and countless unnamed disciples of the early church achieved great things because they prayed regularly, together and with boldness. What is stopping us from being like them?

Let’s make TKC 2019 a time of great prayer, and I look forward to blogging about some surprising results!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

r to have some pattern of regular, personal devotion with Jesus.


Three little questions

January 22, 2019

you are the light of the world

At St Barnacles we are thinking a lot at the moment about what it means to be the light of the world. It is relatively easy to shine with the light of Jesus Christ when we are gathered together in worship and fellowship, but what about when we go out into our daily lives? How can we best support and encourage one another Monday to Friday, and know that we in turn are loved and prayed for by others?

That is why you will find some slips of paper at the back of church with three little questions:

  1. Where do you usually spend your week from Monday to Friday?
  2. How does your Christian faith help you day by day?
  3. How can the church family best pray for you?

If we have enough replies, then we will publish the replies on our church website as our Lent initiative this year. So please do think and pray about your answers, and hand them to Revd Tim, with your name on! The more we can encourage one another, the more we will able  to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have  (1 Peter 3:15).

Our Mission Action Plan has as one of its three aims, “being in the wider world, as servants of the Lord, wherever we are.” My hope and prayer is the answers you give will enable us to meet that aim more and more, and make our witness for the Lord Jesus even more effective. I look forward to hearing from you!


Thika diary – final day – photos #11

November 6, 2018

On their final day, the group took the opportunity to visit Namrata Shah for themselves

Foundations for a new building, still awaiting funding

Namrata Shah have their own farm …

… and grow whatever they need

A final view of the children’s home

And to finish, a few faces … and more food!

James, son of Revd Tim’s host, Archdeacon David

The Archdeacon’s girls, Deborah and Royal

James, Deborah and Royal

Jay, Pam and Beth stayed with Francis and his family (on the left) seen here with his vicar

A typical meal, with chapati, vegetables and stew

A final farewell from the choir at St Michael’s, Ruiru


Thika diary – at the Bishop’s – photos #10

November 5, 2018

On their final night, the group were invited by Bishop Julius to a meal … everyone was quite tired by then, but it was a spectacle not to be missed!

All dressed up for a party!

Revd Tim staying awake – just

The food was worth the wait

The setting was quite unexpected!

There was singing …

… and the group were expected to respond in kind!

At the end of the evening, Esther, Bishop Julius’ wife, gave gifts to each of the group