Saturday, 30 June 2007

Vestry Prayer

Loving God we come today and gather as members of your family to bring our praise and adoration to our loving heavenly Father. We recognise that sometimes it is easy to make excuses for why we might not come or why we might not do your will, but today Lord we ask that through our brother/sister N you will challenge us to renew our walk with you. We ask your blessing on our service today and pray that we will enjoy this time of fellowship with one another, but more importantly that we will enjoy our fellowship with you. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen

Friday, 29 June 2007

Vestry Prayer - slight delay!

Been a bit busy this week so prayer has been a bit delayed should be on the blog by 10a.m. tomorrow morning (Saturday) and thanks to those who commented on last weeks hope you found it useful!

New Methodist Recorder!!!

Have just checked the comments on my previous blog and worship leader suggested I try this blog so I did and wow wouldn't it be great if the real recorder were more like this!! Although hang on perhaps this is the real Methodist Recorder - it certainly seems to have more life in it!! Check it out there is some very humourous stuff on there!

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Laugh! I neraly fell off my chair.

I was tempted to quote Victor Meldrew and say 'I don't believe it!' This description appeared in a certain weekly newspaper today 'The_____ ______ still remains great value for money. Filled with news, features and resources, it is essential reading for every Methodist, keeping you informed and helping you in your Christyian life in both church and community'. This was after telling us that it is going up in price by 20pence from next week to the princely sum of £1-30 which apprently is good value compared to similar publications. There are 24 pages in this weeks recorder which would equate to 5.4 pence a page. It would have been interesing to do a full comparison by telling us how many pages the other publications have in them.
I may have to think seriousl if I still take the Recorder and I suspect there may be other who will be thinking the same!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Makes you think!

Been to singing practice tonight and I chose a song to practice that had another song on the same piece of paper and the pianist said could we have a go at the other one as well. I looked at it and then asked her to play it through. I then told the group that I had learned this song on Sunday morning when I was at Bethesda Chapel and the pianist said she had been thinking about the other song before coming to practice but didn't know why. I remember someone saying years ago they didn't believe in coincidence but believed in God's incidence - surely this is one of those occasions where God has moved in a mysterious way.
Didn't post last night but put a comment on the blog of who was talking about gambling and suggesting a sensible tabloid or even the Methodist Recorder might take it up - said I thought sensible tabloid and the recorder were an oxymoron. Whoops nearly controversial there again!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Busy Day

Well today has been quite interesting - went to preach this morning at a church I haven't been in for 39 years and was made very welcome and the word was very well received - preached on my favourite verse John 3:16.
Was watching Billy Graham on T.V. this afternoon and was amazed by his knowledge of what was going on in the world and how he brought that into the sermon, which was about the Good Samaritan.
Something he said which I thought was very good is that although he was preaching to to a very large crowd which some would call mass evangelism, he believed that Jesus dealt with individuals and that he was preaching to individuals not the crowd. Isn't it true that when we preach we should be speaking to every member of the congregation. I would have loved to be at one of his meetings just to savor the atmosphere and be part of such a wonderful event.
Was at Aldridge Methodist Church tonight where they now use an overhead projector for the hymns - saves juggling books and apparently has been very well accepted by the congregation.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Midsummer Madness

I am just sitting here on a day between the longest day and midsummer day and wondering where is the summer? It has been more like a midwitner day today in fact I am fairly sure the shortest day in 2006 was warmer and drier than today has been.
Got a busy day on Sunday as I am preaching morning and evening - the evening is at one of the churrches in out circuit at Aldridge. The morning service is at the Bethesda Chapel in Hill Top, West Bromwich where I last went 39 years ago having gone there to Sunday School for ten years. As you can imagine I am looking forward to it but quite nervous too.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Vestry Prayer

Here we are a vestry prayer for Sunday 24th June.
God our father, we come to you today to bring our praise and worship, and we look to you to speak to us as you spoke to Elijah. We know that you can speak in a variety of ways even in the silence and we pray Lord that you would open our hearts and minds to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
We pray for N....... as they lead our worship this morning/evening and ask that you would use them to bring us your word in a clear understandable way. May it be we will be greatly blessed in our fellowship today, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Church Growth or Church Death!

I've been to a practice for the singing group I belong to tonight and we were discussing worship and styles and why the churches were emptying and we ended up only singing two songs.
I have a few views on the reason we are not moving forward or growing and I some of them go along the lines that a comment on Methodistpreachers blog said but there is more.
There are people who say I don't go to that particular service because I don't like what they do - but they have never been so how can they say they don't like it? There are folk who believe the only hymn book we should use is Hymns and Psalms but it could be argued that this book was out of date when it was printed and is certainly out of date now! There are those who think the only good hymns are those written by the likes of Watts or Wesley but there is much that has been written in recent years that is so good and yes there should be a place for the best of both! A really dangerous thing I think is the church that says 'We've always done it this way' I think these are the 6 last words of a dying church! It seems to me that the churches who are experiencing growth are those who embrace change and the best of the old and the new.
In our circuit we are just trying a series of circuit services with a more modern, non traditional style and at the singing group tonight everyone was saying how much they had enjoyed the last one and all except one of them is over 50 and many are over 60 but they enjoyed the lively worship including the marching round the church when we sang 'We are marching in the light of God'
I am reading a book at the moment called Cooking up Worship by David E Flavell and I am tempted to say it should be compulsory reading for all Methodists and possibly all Christians. (whoops was that ever so slightly controversial - well never mind)

Monday, 18 June 2007

Why 5

I have been driving for about 36 years now and I really do think that the quality of driving has gone downhill (no pun intended). When I learnt to drive we were still using hand signals and I don't mean the rude ones that you will often see drivers using today. There is one street in Walsall where there are two left hand turns within five or six yards of each other and I still use a hand signal if I am turning down the first one to tell drivers I am turning at the first one - not many people seem to understand it until I actually turn and then it often seems as if the penny drops.
So here is my why for today - why do drivers not indicate when turning - do they think the people behing them have crystal balls or even crystal sat navs - I am amazed there are not a lot more rear end shunts.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Busy Day

Been a busy day today! Played the organ at Pleck Methodist Church this morning and the piano at St John's the Parish church in Pleck this evening for a united service.
Strange thing about this evenings services is the Vicar asked us to choose the hymns on the theme of powers and principalities and two of the hymns we chose fitted exactly with his sermon- what's that saying about God moving in a mysterious way.
Had to laugh he was talking about things that pull us away from God and he said for him on a Sunday afternoon it's the closing of his eyes - could do with some matchsticks.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Nearly a week!

Yes folks it's almost a week since I made my first post and I was tempted make a comment about a week being a long time in politics, but then I realised I am not a politician.
Have just checked the stats on sitemeter and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised how many are actually looking at this blog!
I see one of my friends from Bentley in Walsall also reads the Recorder along with another member at Bentley so that's at least three of us in the circuit.
I've been looking at some of the other Methodist blogs and there seems to be some good stuff out there and in the sense of putting something remotely spiritual on this blog I was thinking of posting a Vestry Prayer each week because I know there may be some hard pressed stewards who would appreciate this - I did do a book of vestry prayers for year B as my project for the end of my local preacher training course and it was very well received in our circuit. Any thoughts on this folks?

Friday, 15 June 2007

Goodbye Ruth

Ruth Graham the wife of Billy Graham has died and in a statement he said that God had called them as a team and how often we find that behind every succesful man in whatever field there is a stong supportive woman. One of the most interesting things I found out about her was that she was very involved in the building of the chapel at the Billy Graham training school at the Cove in America which has the tallest spire of any church in the region, a feature that she was instrumental in.

Why 4?

Why does traffic grind to a halt when we have bad weather? Today the traffic in Walsall was awful even in places where there was no flooding - it just seems to me that a little bit of rain or even that dreadful white stuff causes utter chaos.
It's not just bad weather though because it seems sunny weather also brings out the worst in some drivers - what happened to good old fashioned manners and politeness? Perhaps it is like many others things and down to the state of society in general. I am writing a book about my childhood in Hill Top, West Bromwich in the sixties and when I sit and think about it what a better time it seems it was, but then almost all the kids in our street went to Sunday School and a lot of the parents went to church or chapel so perhaps that was part of the reason for things being better then.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Why 3?

This why is my third but there may be more than one why in it. Why am I the only person in our church who reads the Methodist Recorder? I know you can't answer that unless you come to my church but it is an interesting question.
While on the topic of the Recorder why is it so boring and old fashioned - I am sure if I were able to get a copy from when I first came into a methodist church in the early 1980's it would look exactly the same. Compared to my local evening newspaper it is very poor, the layout is quite staid and to some degree every page looks the same i.e. 6 columns per page, why is it so expensive £1-10 for 24 pages this week- as I write this I wonder why I have the Recorder each week except to keep up with what is going on.
My local evening paper is just 35p and tonight has 64 pages much better value I think.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Thank You

Just a note to say thank you to all those who have already checked this blog out, and thanks to those other bloggers who have mentioned me on their blogs. Special thanks to methodistpreacher for his advice on adding a sitemeter, sorting the privacy levels and how to remove the infernal zodiac sign. Trying to work out how to get on search engines so any advice would be gratefully received.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Why 2

As I travel around taking appointments at various churches I often wonder about the taking up of the offering and I have a really big why about it.
Why do some churches stand when the offering is brought forward and others sit? The only answer I ever got to this question was at Walsall Central Hall where the organist told me it was so she knew when to stop playing. Any readers wish to offer a view?

Monday, 11 June 2007


Here we go my first why? Why do children scream so much - when I was a lad (during the 1960's) the only time you heard a child scream was if they were in real trouble or getting a good hiding for something they had done. These days children seem to scream constantly - do they not realise that thsi has led to people taking no notice when they hear a scream which means if they were in real trouble no one would know!
I was going to say answers on a postcard - but I would prefer comments via this blog - look foward to hearing from you, especially if you can answer the question!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Third time today

Couple of things- circuit service went very well but I am not sure some of the people there fully understand the idea behind them! One or two grumbles because it was not a traditional style service but that was the plan. Part of the brief is that all the songs have to be less than thirty years old and we are trying hard to try some new expressions of worship in these services.
Second point the time on these messages is well out as my earlier message were posted around 4p.m. today.

Trouble with worms

one of my favourite comedians was Ronnie Barker and he used to do some sketches about being a member of the loyal society for the prismonunciation of worms - just noticed my first post has a number of typos - very Ronnie Barker.

Made It!

First Blog - new to this but inspired by to have a go and here I am. Just thinking about our second in a series of circuit services where the singing group I belong to will be helping to lead the singing.
Not sure how often I will post but will try to make it regular and one of my thoughts is to ask the question WHY? about a whole load of issues and things.
May also share some thoughts on matters relting to methodism, methodists and other realted issues.