About this traveller

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London, United Kingdom
Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father. Son. Poet. Writer. Preacher. Story-teller. Learner. Pilgrim.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

blog changed

Well the time has come for transition. Missional Revolution has moved! I can now be found at:


Please feel free to change any settings so thast you don't miss out on up and coming posts - I'll be focusing on:

- Missional living
- Exploring what church means in today's culture
- Prayer on a noisy planet
- The usual devotional things you're used to hearing from me.

I really appreciate that you take time to visit/follow the blog and pray that it continues to be a source of blessing/encouragement/challenge and meaty thought-stirring stuff. you are the reason I blog!

See you at www.missionalrevolution.wordpress.com

With every blessing in Jesus


Friday, November 7, 2008

Missional Revolution

I've always loved the concept of revolution. It inspires me and maintains within me a drive and a desire to keep on pressing forward to see God move in great ways. I'm not sure that I've ever seen the move of God that I dream of. It's a move of repentance.

Revolution and repentance have this in common: They both change something from one system to another. They seek to change people from walking in one direction to turning around. Revolution changes structures and systems; repentance changes hearts and worldviews from the inside out.

The Church in Britain still needs a revolution of repentance. Until we stop and call out to God for His gracious mercy we will continue in decline. We cannot grow as the Church of God while we are not acting like the people of God. While we are loving our structures and our ways more than God and God's ways we cannot grow to be the mission force of Jesus to the world.

I'm not against structure (even the body needs a skeleton) but I'm struggling to see how structure has become our focus. I see some beautiful signs of God's Kingdom coming all around us, but I long for so much more. Don't you?

The Church has lost it's mission to bring the world to Jesus, and Jesus to the world. There is a revolution around us. the missional Church is rising up to take love to the lost, to take hope to the hurting and to take provision to the poor. It's message is powerfully spiritual and practically supplying.

Let us seek the face of God. Let us hear his powerful voice of truth speak into our hearts until we turn back to Him and are turned towards the world again with the power and practicality of the Gospel message.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Church is pretty counter-cultural in a spiritual sense. Althoung we must engage with our culture, we also need to be aware of the spiritual forces and dynamics that drive those cultures. With this in mins it is imperative that we prayerfully engage. God obviously desires to engage culture through the missional thrust of the Church.

We must seek God. We must discern. We must be wise. We must be active. To do all this we must be praying. The Church must be praying - You must pray. I must pray.

Let us devote ourselves to prayer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Counter Cultural - be an individual

Young and old gather round...

All around us a battle is waging. Many sub cultures surround you, pulling you into their 'life choices' - fashion, music, attitude, character...

Where are you headed? What choices are you making? Your choices mould who you are becoming. What will you become?

Be an individual - you are made in the image of God, and you are made unique. There is only one of you and your life counts for everything! The question is...

...Will you be an individual who chooses for themselves, or will you let yourself be pulled along by whatever somebody else says is'cool'?

It's hard to be yourself sometimes, but take it from me, when you can be yourself you don't need to worry about fitting in anymore; you don't feel the pressure to keep up with everyone else. In fact you may find that people are drawn into your way of living.

I'm not following the crowd that seeks to make me just like them - I'm following Jesus. And d'you know what?

HE WANTS ME TO BE MYSELF - and I'm loving it.

follow Jesus.

love God. Love others.

Live Free!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Church is...3 - loving

If the Church is to love God and love others then the core purpose of Church is to love! Yet, many experience that the Church is not unconditionally loving. Many have experiencved conditional love and exceptance in their experience of Church - this is a diminished view of the love God has called us to live and show. I've heard it said that True love waits, but in this context love does not wait - it just gets on with loving, in thought, word, and ultimately, in deeds.

It needs to be said that there are many floowers of Jesus and Churches that show amazing lives and communities of unconditional love. Yet as people look at the Church in the West this is not the most prominent image of Church seen. We need to be transformed from the heart out into the community.

Look at Jesus lifestyle: He loved the crowds by feeding them with words and with food; he loved the leper by approaching them, talking with them and healing them; he loved women through respecting them; he loved kids by giving them his time; he loved his disciples by disciplining, teaching and releasing them; he loved the world by serving, saving and sacrificing himself; he loved God through obeying him; he loved.

As God's Church we have much repenting to do for our lack of love. We have lacked:

Love for the lost - if we really cared about the lost our perspective would not be so individualistic or insular.
Love for God - we live our faith in our way (it's my life!) rather than in Jesus' way (He is THE Way!)
Love for each other - many churches are filled with people who love others when "they play ball" and fit unspoken rules and expectations.Love for God's word - our words have somehow become more vocal than God's inspired, Spirit-breathed word.

We need to repent. we really need to turn back to God and BE the Church that Jesus died to send into the world. We need to get on our knees and pray that god's mercy touches our hearts afresh. We need to let go of all the 'church' baggage that's got us bound up and be freed to follow Jesus as unconditional lovers of God who unconditionally love ALL people, even when they are different, wrong, right, or down-right strange.

Follow Jesus - Love God - Love others - with no conditions

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stop and think - participation

Very quickly... how much participation do we allow God in our lives? Is he at the core of life walking with us? Are we expecting him to 'catch up' with what we're doing?

God wants to play a BIG part, not a BIT part.
God wants full control, not just a little permission to move when I want.
God wants to give us HIS dreams for our lives, not just bless OUR dreams.

It's easy for us to sing and pray "Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my soul, I live for you alone" - much harder to live that out. We need God's help if that is our heart-cry. We can't 'go it alone.

May God's participation in our lives be absolute. M\y be be Saviour AND Lord. And may we participate in the fulness of relationship with him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

book: Youth ministry on your knees (Mike Higgs)

I wanted to recommend this book for it's simplicity and accessability to youth workers short of time for a weighty read - definately not weighhty, but it covers excellent ground.

It starts with the character and person of the youth worker. Your ministry will go as far as your prayer life. we expect God to bless us, without giving him his rightful place at the head of our ministries. He moves on to the issue of purity - living a clean life before God without falling into wrong patterns of living.

This book is also really practical in terms of creating a praying culture amongst young people, and the lastter part of the book focussed on mobilising young people to pray.

I know I've been challenged by this book and have just begun reading it through a second time. Enjoy it when you buy it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book: Youth Leaders who last (Tim Hawkins)

I had to recommend this book for a few reasons:

1. youth leaders burnout, run away, quit, grow out of it, move 'up' the chain of command faster than I can get a burger in a fast-food joint! Youth leaders don't last - there's a culture of 'transient youth leadership' where leaders don't keep going. this makes it hard for young people to trust new leaders. I bel;ieve god wants people in youth ministry who have the heart and mettle to go for the long haul.

2. It's a brilliant book filled with biblical truths that will grow persevering youth leaders.

3. It's a good read!

The book looks at the following:

Section 1: Grow your Leadership Vision
1. Your are Called by God
2. You are a Generation-Changer
3. You are a Shepherd
4. Three Relationships of a Shepherd
5. Three Tasks of a Shepherd
6. You are a Servant
7. Ten marks of a Servant

Section 2: Grow your Leadership Character
8. You are Developing Your Character
9. You are Faithful
10. You are Reliable
11. You are a Follower
12. You have a Biblical Standard
13. Eight Checkpoints for a Biblical Leader

Section 3: Grow your Leadership Skills
14. You are a Bible Teacher
15. You are a Small Group Leader
16. You are Many, Many People
17. You are a Leader who will Last

Section 4: Appendix
1. Biblical Leadership Lists
2. Above Reproach
3. For Further Reading

i love that Hawkins has a good section on the heart of a youth leader - what you are on the inside will affect the ministry you do, and will eventually manifest itself on the outside.

as youth leaders we share Jesus, but we also share ourselves (our lives) with young people we are discipling.

On the whole - a great read (in fact i've read this book numerous times now!!

Church is...2

I have wanted to write about 'Church' for a while. Perhaps I've nothing new to offer, but at a time when there's much buzz about what Churchis not, and should not be, I wanted to put down my thoughts on what Church is. So here's the first installment.

Church is a community of believers
I love that community is a facet of current discussions on ecclesiology. we all know that Church is meant to be community, but I believe that this has to be more than 2 or 3 people gathering together in a pub and talking about Jesus (admit it...anybody can do that!). Church is a community OF BELIEVERS - people that love God and have a living faith in the saving power and person of Jesus Christ. Their belief is founded upon him; he's at the centre of it all; they live to please Jesus; they emmulate lives that resemble, copy and mimic the life of Christ.

Church is a community - a people with a common unity: they are lovers of God and lovers of people. They share common purpose: to glorify God through living lives that are lived as worship to Him; to 'make disciples' (not just get converts); to teach Jesus' way of living and being; to live out the great commandment and the great commission.

Belief is based on:

1. the teachings of Christ
2. The work of Christ
3. The authority of the Bible

I had a lecturer that talked about 'faith in faith' - faith in nothing really! Our faith has the basis of God's revelation of himself to us in scripture. Our belief needs to be placed alongside the 'plumbline of scripture'. If our belief is at odds with God's word then we have been deluded and deceived. When we stand on scripture our foundation cannot be removed. god is not a man that he should lie. His word is truth. we may not understand it; we may not even agree with it; we may struggle with aspects of it, but in the end it is still the word of God.

Any 'church' that does not hold fast to the authority of the bible is not the Church of Christ, regardless of what it names itself.

Our world is crying out for Churches that will shine the light of truth in the darkness - God has given the church his written word (your word is a 'light for my path - psalm 119), and he has given the church to the world to show the way to God.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fransiscan Prayer

I'm not a massive fan of written prayers that become 'rote' prayers, but this one is one that i will learn and pray from my heart. It's a 'Fransiscan Benediction':

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who
suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand
to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Church 1

Church - what is it? What is it not? Loads of us are asking these questions. Is it missional? Is it simple, organic or institutional?

It strikes me that our 'ecclesiology' (study of the church) focusses on what church is when we gather and I wonder if we have formed an incomplete ecclesiology. I have become unsettled with Church because it generally focusses on Sunday gatherings. Church employees are encouraged to put energy into Sunday activities most of the time. Yes, we have midweek endeavours - youth groups, clubs, cells. It strikes me that if we are to be followers of Jesus then 'The Church' needs to focus on Making Disciples - I believe that this should be through shared experiences of doing life together: meals; laughter, worship, talking, friendships that exceed superficial christian nicities, etc. Jesus spent time with his followers - they saw his struggles and his joys and they learned from how he handled life's complexities.

Maybe our ecclesiology needs to incorperate 'living lives together'?

More later

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reformission Rev

I've Just finished reading "Confessions of a reformission Rev" by Mark Driscoll. I must say that it's the most challenging and inspiring book I've read for a while. therefore you must stop now and do the following:

1. Rush off to the nearest book store
2. Buy it!
3. Read it!
4. Chew on it (think about what it's saying)
4. Apply it to your situation

Mark shows us his own journey of leading a ministry, highlighting very effectively the effect theology has on growing a biblically baded ministry.

I was particularly challenged about working through my own Christology, ecclesiology and missiology (look them up in a good dictionary if I've used big words) and felt a groqing thirst to study scripture even more. Mark's passion for the bible oozes out of every page, and while I might not agree with 100% of his views I felt inspired and encouraged to make disciples from a biblical foundation rather than from a 'consumerist' model of Church.

This book is probably aimed at Church leaders but is written in a very accessable style for all christians, and I'd recommend it very highly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Abuse: Broken Vessels

A friend of mine made something really amazing. He took some dust from the ground and began to create the most amazing work of art. He worked tirelessly, devoting both time and energy to his creation. The dust took form as the day passed and it wasn’t long before the creation was completed. It really was quite remarkable – the finest creation my friend had ever made. He was extremely proud of it. That creation was you!

You were created by God to be perfect in every way. Each of us has been made by God and he is very proud of us. When He made you he looked at the perfect finished product and he said “It is very good”. I’m sure that God smiled over you when you were born.

Each of us has been hurt by aspects of life. The abuse victim knows hurt at a very deep level. We come to God weak, with hearts full of hurt and tears. We come to him with our insecurities and with our shame. We wonder if he can ever make us whole again.

Here is the truth about God. The Bible teaches that God is loving and full of grace. He is slow to be angry and very quick to love you. He wants you to come to him with every hurt and pain, with every wrong ever done by you or to you, and he wants to make you like him once more. You were created in God’s image and that image can be restored again.

The Bible shows us that that God began a good work in you and that He will work in you until that work is complete. You can take hope in the fact that God will heal and restore you to be made whole from the hurts of abuse and life. It may take time and it may take a lot of work, but the possibility of a restored life makes it all worthwhile. There is hope after the storm. There is fullness of life after the experience of abuse when we invite God in to heal us. Shall we pray together?

Loving God, thank you for accepting us and restoring us to be all we are meant to be – made in your likeness. Heal our hurts. Show us the light of your love in dark situations, and help us to be like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Abuse: Why?

Have you ever observed a young child enquiring about something that interests them? The conversation may go something like this:

Dad, what’s that?
It’s a hairdryer for Mum to have dry hair?
Why does Mum want dry hair?
She’ll catch a cold if it’s wet.
Because it’s cold outside.
Because it’s been raining.
Because it always rains in April.
It just does.

This can go on for hours until either Dad gets annoyed or child loses interest. Often it’s because Dad gets annoyed and then the child is left feeling like they’ve done something wrong. I’m sure you will agree that the child has done nothing wrong in this situation - He has just exercised his right to be inquisitive about something. Yet often when children ask ‘why?’ in this manner they are treated like they are in the wrong. Granted it can be annoying, but they are not wrong.

We are like the child sometimes. When things in life go wrong we look to heaven and ask why. We have seen this recently with the Tsunami. Many who have gone through abuse daily question “why?”
The abuse victim asks why they were abused, and why did God allow it to happen. A parent or guardian of an abused child may be asking why they were unable to see the signs of abuse as it occurred. In reality there are often no answers to these questions, but there is comfort in God who helps us through our hurts.

It is not wrong to ask “Why?” As God’s children we have the right to ask big questions. It is encouraging to remember that God has boundless amounts of love and patience for us, his children. He will not scold us for asking hard questions, but he will love us and carry us through when we cannot understand. As well as asking why we can also ask for help.

Let us turn to God for strength today.

Loving God, thank you that you never stop us from trying to find answers to lives hard questions. Thank you for accepting us just as we are. Help us to remember that one day everything will make sense and all pain will cease. Help us to keep looking to you for the strength, help, and the healing our lives need. Amen.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Abuse: Fear

Can you remember a time when you felt so afraid you were frozen to the spot? Perhaps you were waiting in the queue for a thrill ride. Perhaps you were about to make an important presentation or speech. Fear is no stranger to us and it is no respecter of people. At some point we all feel afraid.

For some people life is lived in fear. Those who have been abused know the reality of fear. Imagine living every day in fear of an individual who had hurt and tormented you. Even now, years later, the very mention of their name may strike fear into you. We wonder, ‘how can I ever escape these fears and these memories?’

Now imagine living a life without fear. It is a life where the memory of abuse does not haunt you and you are free to be what God created you to be. For many this life is never a reality, but there is hope through God’s grace.

My wife used to have nightmares frequently. She would awaken in the night screaming in fear. She was so afraid that she thought the object of her fears was in the room with her. Each time I would hold her and speak gently to calm her down. As she relaxed I would tell her ‘It’s okay I’m here and I love you.’

God can help us overcome fear in a similar way. Today, your heart may be heavy with various worries and fears about the future. God is saying “It’s okay, I’m here with you and I love you”. For others, your experience of abuse has meant that life has been one big experience in fear. God calls to your heart today to give you hope and peace. When you have gone through your struggles God has seen and he has wept with you. Today He opens his arms of love to you and says “It’s okay, I’m here and I love you”.

The Bible has much to say about love and God. Perhaps the most important things we can hear today are that ‘perfect love casts out fear’ and that ‘God is love’. God will never force his way into our lives - He’s the perfect gentleman who waits for an invite. As the presence of God’s Spirit fills our hearts we can be transformed by his love. As we pray today why not invite God to reveal his love afresh to you.

We now pray,

‘Lord, we thank you that you want our hearts to be free from fear and filled with your love. Help us to know and live in this perfect love through the indwelling power and voice of your Holy Spirit bringing perfect peace. Amen.’

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Abuse: Secrets

Have you ever had to keep a secret? If you are anything like me you probably want to tell the world. A secret can be a lot of fun – like a surprise birthday party. How do we handle secrets that are not nice? Bad secrets are the ones that we really want to tell someone, but for some reason we find we cannot. Robert is 37 and he has a secret.

Robert was at his grandparent’s house for the weekend. His family also were there and he had got bored with the adults talking so he began to explore the house. He looked in every room. He looked at every picture. He looked in every corner. After a few hours he found himself at the entrance to the attic room. He entered and began to rummage around. A few minutes later he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Robert hid behind a wooden box. His grandfather entered the room and closed the door. Robert sheepishly came out from behind the box, while apologising quietly for being there. His Grandfather reassured him that it was okay and that he wouldn’t tell Robert’s parents, but Robert would need to do something in return. Ten minutes later Robert was in the garden. Tears flooded his eyes as he tried to forget the secret. Robert had a secret and he would never tell.

It has been estimated that one in every four girls and one in every ten boys are sexually abused before the age of eighteen. There are many adults today who have carried childhood secrets about abuse into adult life. Often we feel ashamed or guilty about what we have experienced. Often we think no-one will understand, or even believe us. Secrets like Robert’s ought to be broken. It took me a very long time to tell my parents what I’d been through, but I remember the relief I felt when I’d told my secret. It was my first step towards healing and restoration.

If you have a secret like Robert’s that is causing you pain and stealing your enjoyment of life please talk to someone today. Chat with a friend or phone your Church leader and arrange to discus it. You could call the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service for a confidential chat. Whatever you do, let the secret out.

Please allow me to pray with you now.

Loving God, please help all of us to openly talk about the things that have happened in secret. Thank you that nothing is hidden from your eyes and you understand everything perfectly. Help us to take whatever steps we need to take to walk in freedom. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Abuse: The Storm

A few years ago I wrote some devotions on the subject of abuse. I thought I'd post them here this week.

The rain lashed down as I sat at the window gazing out into the storm that surrounded the house. I curled up tight as I blankly looked out into the night. Would this storm ever cease? Would the sun ever rise? At ten years old I could see only storms.

Every day I feared what would happen after school. We’d go to our friend’s house till Mum got home. For four years I was subjected to various forms of physical and emotional abuse in that house. Although I managed to smile on the outside, on the inside I had already died.

Now I am eighteen. Recently, God touched my heart with his love. It was amazing – Imagine walking around in the dark for many years and then one day someone came along and turned the light on. That’s exactly what God did for me. I went to Church and a Pastor prayed for me. As he prayed God just flooded my heart with pure divine love. The hardness I’d built up and my resistance to love was broken down as God swept through me in the most gentle and loving way possible.

That night the storm began to disappear. I devoted my life to God that night and change began to happen. As I read my Bible and spent time with God in prayer I was quickly touched by God about letting go of the past and looking forward to the future. At that time it was like standing at the edge of a cliff and being told to jump off. I was terrified of moving forward, yet because I trusted God, I decided to take a step of faith and face up to the pain of my past. So I jumped.

Now I am thirty. As I sit at the computer writing this devotional my heart is overwhelmed by how much God has done for me. Having taken a step of faith to face up to the abuse I endured I can say today that my life is filled with hope and joy as God has brought healing to my wounded soul.

What is your step of faith? Some of us may need to begin by putting our trust in God. For some, we may need to talk to someone about our experiences. For others it may be the step of releasing forgiveness. Whatever steps you need to take we can ask God to guide us through the storm. Let us pray together.

Loving God, whatever storms of life we face help us face them with you. Where our lives feel dark, turn on the lights and reveal the path we must walk towards healing and hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The next 5 days

Over the next 5 days I will be posting some devotions on the subject of abuse. These may raise questions or concerns in your mind, or even cause painful past memories to surface. If so, please speak tov someone about them. You can email me via my profile, or you may wish to speak to your Church leader.

The devotions will be as follows:
1. The Storm
2. Secrets
3. Fear
4. Why?
5 Broken Vessels

May God bless and restore us as we read and pray

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Poem: My heart lies broken

My heart lies broken.
No one sees it.
No one hears its irregular beating.

My swollen heart beats.
Inflamed with love.
No one understands its way of feeling.

Love has blinded me.
I can see it.
I can feel the pain love causes me.

You cannot perceive.
You are unable to penetrate my heart
And see the undetectable beatings
my heart has taken for you;
my heart is broken for you.
O that you could enter into my heart;
be part of my soul!

Then you would comprehend my thoughts for you.
Then you would realize my love for you.
Then you would understand me.

I am my love for you my body was broken.

A homeless dream

I was out doing my shopping. I feel ill-dressed when out in Harrogate so I was a little surprised to see a homeless bloke on the pavement. Was he trying to sleep? Could he sleep and dream as I do?

Just sitting there with his sleeping-bag keeping his legs warm.

Just sitting. Not begging. Just sitting, staring into space. Maybe daydreaming.

What are his dreams? What does he want in life?

Perhaps just a warm place with simple home-made food - the type of food that's cooked with love.

He looked tired. I mean real tired. The bags on his eyes had bags on them.

I walked past him six or seven times and my heart...

...it just broke as I imagined that I was in his place.

How on earth do you dream of a brighter future when the world is walking past you, not even daring to make eye contact with you?

This question filled my head and spun around till I had to walk past again just so I could give the man a friendly smile.

So I walked. And I smiled. In return I saw the purest smile in the whole town.

I began to dream that this guy would find God's love - That he would find it in our smiles and in our generosity. That he would find it in our actions and our attitude as we stop to say 'what can I do for you?'

God had dreams for me and they are my reality now - some of them anyway. I want to follow God's example to see His dreams come true for all of us who sometimes find it hard to dream because life gives us hard knocks - today's hard knock may lead to opportunity knocking tomorrow.

May you be blessed by dreaming for those who cannot dream.

Book: You see bones, I see an army (Floyd McClung)

Floyd McClung is a total dude! If you haven'y read anything of his then read "The father heart of God"

If you've read that then get your mind stuck into "You see bones". Floyd calls us to imagine chuirch in a new way - simple, organic and rising up! What he says is also being written about by many others, but what makes this a great book is it's passion, simplicity and Floyd's ministry experiences that inform his writing and his ecclesiology.

A great bonus in this book id Floyd's understanding of apastolic ministry. the role of 'apostle' has long been shrouded, clouded and ousted - Floyd shows us a proper place of apostolic ministry for the 21st century.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book: God On Mute (Pete Grieg)

I thought it was about time I started recommended some books - so here's the first:

I'm a huge fan of all the 24-7 prayer stuff, and this book is a warmly welcomed addition to their writings on the subject of prayer. It's refreshing to read a book with wit, warmth, honesty, vulnerability and sound theology within it's pages. Grieg manages to encourage us about the hard aspects of prayer, drawing on the example of Jesus' praying, as well as from personal testimony to ground it in today's reality.

I've read a few books on prayer and I'd rate it as one of the best.

Missional Distinctives

The following are five biblical distinctives form the foundation of a missional perspective:[6]

1. The Church is sent by Jesus Christ (John 17:18; 20:21, Luke 9:2; Matt 28: 19–20;Acts 1:8)
2. The Church is sent with the Cross (1 Cor 1:18, Eph 2:16, Col 2:14, 1 Pet2:24, 2 Cor 5:17–24)
3. The Church is sent in Community (Acts 2:42–47; 5:42; John 13:34–35; 1 John 3:16–17)
4. The Church is sent to every Culture (John 1:14; Matt 20:28; Acts 17:22–34; Luke 5:29)
5. The Church is sent for the King and His Kingdom (Matt 10:7; 25:34; Luke 4:43; Rev 11:15–17; Jer 10:7; John 18:36)

(Cited from: Dave DeVries, Missional Transformation: Fueling Missionary Movements that Transform America, Bakke Graduate University, 2007, 8-12)


It's 2am. My kids are asleep and my wife has gone to Soul Survivor festival for the week. I can't sleep. Maybe I've been married long enough to need Jenna here with me all the time. i miss her.

It's strange how we can feel lonely when living in a community - London has about 12 million people in it (I think!) yet here I am feeling lonely after only 2 days!! I lie here and imagine how the lost, the least and the last must feel almost 24/7!! I realise that I am fortunate to feel lonely like this only once in a blue moon.

So to all those of you who feel lonely, may God bless you with authentic community, friends and The Divine Presence of God.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Persevere in Prayer

Luke 11:9-13 (New Living Translation)

9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

These verses come in the context of Jesus teaching on prayer. Jesus moves from teaching us how to pray into encouraging us to keep on praying. He tells us:

Keep on asking!
Keep on seeking!
Keep on knocking!

Keep on keeping on - don't stop. Pray without ceasing.

How often do we stop seeking God because the answers don't arrive within our designated time-frame? - too often. Giving up in prayer has become our habit!
Perhaps this is why Jesus encourages us to persevere.

Jesus (the Son) then discloses vital information about the character of God (the Father). Jesus knows what he's talking about because his whole life is in dee intimacy with the father. He tells us that God desires to give to us even more than other fathers - even an evil father will give to their kids. Interesting that Jesus refers to 'evil fathers' - perhaps he's aware that we have created mental barriers in our minds towards God because of our hurts and disappointments. Jesus knows that we have each resented God, questioned God and doubted who he is - we have at times thought of him as 'evil', mean and harsh.

Yet Jesus shows us a different Father - a Father who will give if we keep on asking. A father we will find when we seek (cf, the lost son - luke 15). A Father who will open doors when we keep on knocking. A Father who will give us his very own Holy Spirit if we ask.

Are we asking, seeking and knocking to the Holy Spirit's presence and power in our lives?
How ardent is our desire for God's presence in our lives?
Where do we need to fix our relationship with God so that we can come to him as loving Father?
Will we persever in our talking with God until we see answers come down?

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our reality as a painful place

Tonight I feel I want to write but don't know where it's heading. I have 5 minutes and that's not much time, so time is wasting with this pre-amble.

I sometimes wonder where faith is taking me: I know that ultimately it's eterniy with God and that will be awesome. Moving from one place to the next leaves a hole in us where we are missing places and people. The emotional and psychological attachments that we have to them can be strong, and we often underestimate them.

Having said this, sometimes we need to go. Our feet move and our stuff moves with us, but our hearts are torn. Sometimes this tearing of the heart-strings is painful and it's not easy to bear that pain. Yet in following what we sense God leading us into we (at times) will experience pain. Our telling of God's story and our response in faith often denies the pain we feel. I feel that this is a shame because I know from experience that God meets us in our pain.

So what am I saying. I guess I'm trying to encourage you to take your pain - your torn heart - to Jesus' feet. Pour out your tears to him if you have to (wash his feet with your tears) - I'm sure that Jesus said that is a beautiful thing. "Religious" christians may reject us as weak and unfaithful, but Jesus will never turn us away - he's looking for our lives to be given to him in complete reality - even when our reality is a painful place.

Monday, July 14, 2008

all change to missional living

Well we've moved. Following Jesus isn't always settled - it is active and that activity can take us into new situations. we find ourselves in London after a whirlwind few months. The tornado landed us in Stanmore and there's no way back to Kansis for this dorothy!!

We've now begun a new job, have a new house, new neighbours, and the kids will start a new school (or preschool). New things can be difficult, there's no doubt about it, but on the other hand new situations present us with new opportunities to live out our faith as Jesus has shown us.

My prayer is that the mission of God would be lived out in our lives as we adjust and as we meet new people. May God's kingdom come with us and extend in grace and love towards our neighbours.

Perhaps you too are facing new situations, challenging experiences or meeting new people. Let not your hearts be troubled - perhaps God is working in and through you to broaden your understanding of Missional living.

May we live our lives to the Glory of God as we seek his kingdom come here amongst our neighbours as in heaven.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Missional weblinks

Check out the two new links "Missional Church Network" and "Missional Apologetics" for more on being missional.

Blessings fellow missioners

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

missional missing?

My wife and I have been exploring "organic" and "simple" Church recently. Our experience in Trad structures has not been most positive to be honest. I've been on the journey for 30 years in one way or another (i'm 33 now!) and have been a commited Jesus Follower for 15 of those. I come to a point where I'm wondering if our "christian service' is doing more to oil the Church machinary than to reach the lost with the amazing love of God. I mean it seems like mission is an 'add on' to being Church.

You go into most churches and you see a crappy mission notice board with out of date newsletters and ancient photos (ok, I'm being a bit mean !) and other than that you need to stay alert during the service (that probably lacks transcendence - being mean again!) to hear the passing mention of mission work. Mission happens elsewhere and it's somebody else's calling! It's almost like we've been blinded to God's mission around us.

we have got it all wrong - Jesus' life portrayed in the Gospels was a truly missional life. He ministered everywhere. He listened to people and to God and lived a life that connected the two together. That's being missional in my estimation.

we've got so caught up in trying to keep Church going that we've stopped going into our world and being Jesus to our neighbours. Is being 'missional' part of our life.

Read MARK 10:46-52 (go on, do it now)

Answer these questions in your own mind:
1. Ask God to show you your 'blind spots' in being Missional
2. Ask God to open your eyes and see the world as he sees it
3. Ask God to lead you to the people that you can share the love of Jesus with (in wrds and in works)

May we follow Jesus into the messinesss of people's lives and communities.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Do it

Just preparing for a talk from Matthew 25 where Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. His system of separation was simple:

Those who receive an eternal inheritance from God are those that lived lives of "Just Love" (they lived as Jesus lived - they followed Jesus' way of life).

All others were cast out eternally from God's presence.

The message is simple - if we say we are followers of Jesus we need our lived to follow him too. Saying it is not enough.

We need to Do following Jesus.

"Whatever you did for the least (the marginalised; the poor; the lowly; the loveless; etc) of these you did for me"

Faith without works is dead

Thursday, May 8, 2008

No trouble

Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me

Comfort. We all want to be in this state, yet often we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Jesus was aware of this and when his disciples were troubled in heart he advised them with the statement above. As I read the words I'm struck by how obvious they are - Don't let your heart be troubled!

I'm thinking 'like I have a choice'. As I thought about that it struck me that perhaps Jesus was saying we do have a choice. I read it like this:
Don't allow your heart to be troubled - guard your heart from trouble

There are two verses in the bible that say "Guard your heart". One is in proverbs. It says
'guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life'.

Tthe other is in Philippians 4 where Paul tells the Church:
Don't be worried about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends our understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus

Those words are life and beauty to our hearts. As we pray - as we focus on Jesus - God's peace enters our hearts and minds. We guard our hearts from trouble through trusting in Jesus in the place of prayer. Prayer focusses our heart on the solution and takes it off our problems.

God's peace is not a fabrication of our imagination - it is transcendent. Perhaps we need to persevere in praying until God's peace comes to guard our hearts from trouble.

Are we in an uncomfortable situation where troubles are welling up like storms around and within us?

Then let us pray...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

After scribbling a few lines on worship I saw again this image. I don't know about you, but I often find myself 'begging' God for change (normally in myself!). I'm longing to see more of God's kingdom come into our daily reality. We can ask God for the obvious stuff (health, stuff, blessing, etc.), or we can pray as Christ taught us ("your kingdom come..."). When His kingdom comes it will mean 'change' but perhaps not in the obvious (and selfish) things we're regularly asking for.

Perhaps we will need to be the change. Perhaps this 'come-coming-not yet' kingdom will show us our need to be follwers of Jesus that love God wholeheartedly (with no regard for ourselves, but rather for God's agenda) and love others (viewing ourselves less highly than we ought and seeing others as highly as we should).

So we pray, let your Kingdom come...your will be done on earth as in heaven...

A Delirious breakfast

I was breakfasting with the kids this morning and we're listening to "The Mission Bell" album. my son is playing air guitar, I'm singing like an idiot, and my daughter is doing some sort of weird expressive dance (she's only 18 months old and doesn't know any better!).
I then began playing air guitar. My son (who's 3) stops playing, looks me straight in the eye and says, "What you doing Dad! I say I'm playing the guitar and he (very seriously) says "you can't do that, you're the singer!!"

I began singing again. It's great that our worship can occur at any time. Have a great day!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

dark roads

sometimes the road ahead is scary and dark.

During these times we need to trust God's word to light up the path - so right now I'm trusting in his word.

He knows the beginning from the end and I'm convinced that in the end...

...it all works out

even dark roads have lamp posts

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

sent - to die

Happy Easter!!

Easter reminds me that Jesus died for me personally. The question is "can we die to ourselves?" and live for him. It means laying down our dreams, ambitions and agendas.

Easter reminds me that in death there is new life - In laying down our stuff we give God the space and permission to breathe his life into our dry bones - we find that life means so much more with Jesus in control than it did when we were trying to do our own thing.

May we die to ourselves and be alive to Christ and our world as we reflect on the cross this Easter.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

sent to act

I was reading Luke 4 with my son this morning. in this passage Jesus reads aloud in the Synagogue. He reads:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to procliam freedom to the prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."

we all know that this is from Isaiah and that this is generally thought to be Jesus' own description of his ministry and calling. So how did Jesus fulfill this calling and ministry. Jesus tells the people that this was already fulfilled, and it was in that Jesus had already been sent by God to do these things. Yet he then goes out and begins doing the things he was sent to do.

We also have been called and sent out into the world to demonstrate the great love of God. The question is how do we do this?

Jesus fulfilled his calling by touching one life at a time. Read any of the Gospels: A woman by a well; a religious man in the night (Nicodemus); a demonised man be the lake; an adulterous lady forgiven; a tax-collector accepted; a fisherman restored; etc.

Yes, crowds followed Jesus and he taught them. But in the crowds there were individuals seen by Jesus - and he made it his life's work to make a difference in those lives.

Will we follow Jesus today to allow God to use us in touching someone's life? God can make a difference as we are willing and open to his calling on our lives. you have been sent - will you go?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Make a difference

The riverbed was dry - bone dry. there hadn't been a drop of rain in months. Life was struggling to survive and it looked like there would be no hope.

A single whiite cloud floated across the clear blue sky above. As it gazed down from it's vantage point its heart began to break and a tear rolled down its cloudy cheek and fell upon the arid river-bed.

"What can I do?" sobbed the cloud with the broken heart, "I am one cloud and I cannot make a difference: it's so unfair!"

Another cloud rolled up and saw that the small white cloud was crying. "What's making you sad little cloud?" asked the second cloud.

"The river is drying and life is dying and there seems to be no hope", cried the little white cloud.

The second cloud looked down and saw the situation. He also began to weep for the world below as he moved slowly away in the breeze.

"Does no one care?" thought the little white cloud as his heart was torn and the tiny tears grew in intensity. He began to weep so profusely that he did not see the second cloud return with a crowd of clouds. The crowd looked down and their hearts were also torn. they all began to weep at the situation. Their tears fell heavy upon the land below.

the little cloud opened his tear-stained eyes and saw a marvelous sight. A multutude of crying clouds poured out their hearts on the ground below. The river was filling. Animals becan creeping towards the river bed. Life began to move.

The little white cloud cried all the more at this hopeful sight: tears not of sadness but of joyful delight. There can be hope when even the smallest is moved with compassion.

Will we be moved?

God is a whisper away

Perhaps this week holds stress and worry. Perhaps it holds blessing anf joy. Whatever it holds, God holds it.

God is a whisper away:

He's in the breeze, he's in the sea
He's in your thoughts, and he's in me
He's in the person that shouts you down
he's in the sadness of the clown.

he's in the concepts we have of truth
he's in the Word, he's not aloof
He's even closer than we see
He's close to you, and he's near to me

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Emergent Church?

the following article has been lifted from the "Simple Church Blog". I thought it was excellent and wnated to share it wider. Enjoy!

Perhaps the church is neither emerging nor re-structuring so much as re-claiming its true nature as an underground, insurgent movement. By that I mean that the truest work of the Holy Spirit always seems to be initiated among the least and the unseen bringing forth true kingdom life that is contrary and even subversive to the surrounding culture.

Tom Sine, in his new book (not yet published) “The New Conspirators” talks about “joining the conspiracy of the insignificant”:

In spite of the fact that our world is changing at blinding speed and the church is going through some very tough times God is still at work in ways that aren’t always immediately apparent. For some reason, God seems to delight in conspiring through the small, insignificant and ordinary to renew the church and transform the world. Eugene Peterson wrote, “The metaphors Jesus used for the life of ministry are frequently images of the single, the small and the quiet, which have effects far in excess of their appearance: salt, leaven and seed.”

He goes on to say:
Changing the world through the conspiracy of the insignificant has always been God’s strategy. God chose a ragtag group of Semite slaves to be the insurgents of a new order. God sent a vast army to flight with three hundred men carrying lamps and blowing horns. God chose a shepherd boy with a slingshot to lead his chosen people. And who would have dreamed that God would choose a baby in a cow stall to turn the world right side up?

Perhaps the real emergence of today’s church, the primary re-structuring that needs to take place, is in our own hearts. That we would be willing to be the unseen, unheralded ambassadors who heroically refuse to walk in the ways of this world for the sake of demonstrating a love that throws money-changers out of temples, embraces sinners, and forgives those who nail us to a cross.

Maybe, the moment we are no longer underground (unseen) nor insurgent (counter-cultural), we are no longer really the church.

Maybe, the moment “our movement” is recognized, written about, or even blogged about, it no longer has the characteristics of the true church.
Maybe, the moment we receive an accolade or an applause for what we are doing, it is time to look to see if the recognition has come because we have begun to agree more with our culture than the radical kingdom that Jesus preached and demonstrated.
Perhaps it is the underground, insurgent nature of the church that needs to be re-claimed above all else and maybe, just maybe, all of the “emerging” and “re-structuring” will take care of itself.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I will build my Church

Jesus said,

I will build my Church

As I thought about that today I thought that it's amazing how the Church in the UK is in some areas growing, while in other areas groaning. I'm sure the above phrase has thoughts to offer.

The Church that grows is Jesus' Church - not ours. Are we at the helm, or is Jesus?

The Church that grows is in the 'will' of God. Stagnation cannot be the will of God for His Church. Why not?

Because the Church of Jesus is being 'built', not broken down. Growing, not slowing. worshipping, not wilting.

If we're in any doubt as to who should 'own' the Church we are reminded that Jesus said it is 'my' Church.

The Church that grows is not a club, a cosy huddle or a commitee - it is a biblical, relevant, spirit-filled revolutionary body of people that are following Jesus by loving God and loving others.

I wonder if we're spending too much time 'doing' Church instead of 'being' Church. Are we letting Christ build himself into our lives? Are we growing from faith to faith, strength to strength, and glory to glory?

Jesus will build his Church - are we willing to surrender and BE HIS CHURCH?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Following Jesus into rejection?

In our youth group last night we explored reasons why we find it hard to share our faith story with others. The number one reason was REJECTION.

We all want to be liked. We all want to be loved. We all want to be accepted. None of us really wants to be rejected.

As I've thought about this today it struck me the Jesus' most glorified momnet was also his moment of deepest rejection:

At the garden of Gethsemene his closest followers ran off - peer rejection!
His best mate (who promised to be there for him!) denies knowing him three times - friendship rejection!
The crowds that hailed him a king now hates him and calls for his death - community rejection!
God the Father turns his face away - ultimate rejection!

We will never be rejected as badly as Jesus - God will never turn his face from us as long as we live. But we need to know that if we are to follow Jesus we will most likely find ourselves being rejected by others. Jesus tells us to take up our cross.

Are we willing to follow Jesus even if we are rejected by family, friends or community? We at least know that when we are rejected by others becuase of faith - God stands with us.

Monday, January 28, 2008

We had Church

Last night 18 people met after Church. The sanctuary was empty and the lights were off. The vicars had gone home and the building was at peace knowing another Sunday had passed and it could heave a weary sigh of relief till next week.

Lights on in the narthex, laughter spilled out into the darkness of the Church sanctuary. The buzz of conversation filled my ears and I sat thinking "this is Church".

Last night was a great night for me. As a group we were young (teens) and old (the leaders!). We shared fellowship in our laughter; but more than that, we shared our lives. We learned from each other as we listened to scripture read and pondered on it in silence together. We explored the inadequacy of our own faith-sharing and found encouragement that our struggle is corporate - we are not alone. We prayed and we played. We wept (one instance) and we laughed. We ate and we drank. And in all this God was there.

For me, this was a beautiful picture of being the body of Christ. this was being Church. I hope and pray and plan for more times of being Church together. I'm convinced that the kingdom of God moved forward last night. And I'm convinced that God smiled upon us. May he continue to smile.