Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Alpha Week 1

So Alpha has started and last night was a great success.  There's some pictures here showing what a great job Nicola Abram and Jess Del Rio did in turning our modern office into a country tea room.  Here's the summary and then the prayer points.

· We had 25 guests, 17 of those were proper guests and 8 of those were people bringing guests.
· There was a wide range of experience with many having had some contact or a history in church before.
· All the guests signed up to come again
· 10 people who had said they were coming did not turn up on the night.
· Next week Nicola will be speaking on the title – Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?

Please pray for:

· Hearts and minds to be transformed by the Spirit
· People to return next week
· Those who couldn’t come this week to be able to come next week
· Relationships to be built
· Nicola as she prepares and speaks next week
· That new people will join us next week
· Salvation!!!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


So Alpha starts in approximately 3 hours and 24 minutes and the creative set-up team are currently here making the place look fantastic.  It's amazing what some table clothes and imagination can do to a room that is essentially an office space.  I'll hopefully get some photos on over the next few days as long as some are taken!!!

We have already got some quite a few people who have said they are coming and a dedicated team of 11 who have said that they will serve week in and week out in order to make Alpha happen.

On top of that we also have a team that will be serving tea and coffee to tables and reeling off cake choices in a style reminiscent Sweeney and Todd's (the Reading pie shop, nothing more sinister!  If you've never been it's a must.)

Already there are inspiring RFCers making this happen because they are in faith that people will come along, meet new friends, have their minds and hearts challenged and ultimately come to know Jesus and a living relationship with Him.

The course runs for 10 weeks and is open to new comers for the first three weeks.  It's not too late to come yourself or bring someone with you.  Alternatively, please pray that we would be ringing the bell again and again in response to Jesus changing lives and brining a people to Himself.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Julian Adams' visit to RFC

This past weekend we had a great time with Julian amongst us.  His passion and zeal for Jesus, matched with his understanding of the Father's love and his friendship with the Spirit, bore a fresh measure in faith in me to believe big things of our God.

There were some remarkable words of knowledge over people, which need to be weighed and measured, but which were also brought with accuracy and encouragement.  Sean has written on his blog about how we are to handle this and some of his thoughts about Sunday.

For me it has left me thirsty to see more and to spend more time enjoying the fact that I am a loved son of the King;  that I am chosen and accepted out of love; that nothing I could ever do to make myself right could ever make him love me more.  The residue for me has been a new depth of joy in knowing this love and leaning into this love knowing that it will never be withdrawn or changed.  It is steadfast, enduring, never failing, eternal, pure, beautiful and amazing.

I thank God for the day I was saved and I thank God that he continues to save me even now and I look forward to the day that I will be ultimately saved.  

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Baptisms@Brookside on a Sunday Afternoon

One of the greatest thrills in church life is celebrating with those who are getting baptised.  It's one of those times when God's grace, mercy and love is made so abundantly evident to us.  Hearing peoples stories and then watching them act out something of their love and obedience to Jesus is remarkable.

We will have the joy of baptising some people at the beginning of this year - however we are going to do it slightly differently.  Over the past few years we have set up a paddling pool in the front car park of the school grounds and have baptised people there, come rain or shine - we even did it as snow lay about us one year. However as we grow, and now with the evening meeting up and running, we are trying to think of new ways that we can gather together to celebrate what God has done in the lives of men and women  in our community.

On Sunday 30th January we are going to baptise people at  2:30pm.  We will be using Brookside Church building, down in Lower Earley.

Why afternoon?  To make it accessible to both morning and evening congregations.

Why Brookside?  It's indoors

Why baptisms?  It displays our love of Jesus and the fact that he is now the most important thing in our lives.

If you are coming along to RFC and are not yet baptised as a believer then please contact me through the blog or through the church website.

If you are free on the afternoon of Sunday 30th and you want to hear some stories of grace then why not join us at Brookside Church building, it would be good to see you there and I know the guys will appreciate your support.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A day on Mental Health

You may have seen this on Sean and Richards blog but I too want to join the party and wholly recommend Cloudy Days in Summer.  We held a similar day here in Reading last year and I know it was highly valued and proved hugely useful to those who came on it. This is what Sean said on his blog:

The older we get the more complex questions we seem to face ...
What should we say to a Christian friend whose doctor has prescribed anti-depressants?

What about when they want to stop taking their medication because they 'feel better'?

When should our friends 'stop listening to themselves' and start 'speaking the gospel to themselves?'
Is their inability to make decisions because they are emotionally tired or is it deeper than that?
If you are like me, you can feel out of your depth in this area of suffering. To help me, I have booked myself yourself into the'Cloudy Days in Summer' conference next month. 
It's on Saturday 5 February, 10-4pm at Kerith Centre in Bracknell.

There are two seminar streams - one for 'those who walk through these experiences' the other for 'those who walk alongside'. Tickets cost £10 per delegate; to book your place either phone the RFC church office or 
book online here.
The conference won't answer all your questions but it will give both permission and a framework for Christians to discuss mental health issues.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Into a New Year

So a new year is upon us and there is much to thank God for and to reflect on from last:
  • 13 people made a first time response to know Jesus last year at RFC which is fantastic.  
  • We baptised people from the UK, Zimbabwe, China and Lithuania
  • The evening meeting got up and running and now has a small community growing.  
  • New lifegroups were spun up and existing ones grew.  
  • New people joined the church bringing their unique gifts and talents to serve and see the Kingdom advance.  
These are just some of the highlights that we have to worship Him for.  I'm trusting that many of us will have other things in our own lives where we have seen God come through for us.  In the midst of dark days and days that feel like summer our God is always there alongside us, we just need to reach out to him. This truth has been lived out in front of us through the likes of Craig Mackay, who saw his wife go to be with Jesus at the beginning of last year, and Matt Chandler and PJ Smyth who have been blogging through cancer.  These guys are inspirations to us all to keep going and turn to Jesus at all times.

As we go into the new year we can expect again our God to be with us as we endeavour to serve his purposes and be His ambassadors here in the town of Reading.  We can also trust that He will be with each one of us as we give ourselves to seeking Him in all circumstances.  We have a God who's name is above all other names and at who's name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess as Lord.  He has everything under his feet, who has been seated high above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the age to come. 

His name is Jesus!