Friday, 30 May 2008

vestry prayer - ordinary 9

Gracious and loving God as we come into your presence this morning we pray that you will make us like the man who built his house upon the rock, that you would enable us to be wise and to discern your word for each one of us today.
Lord we are mindful that at times we can be foolish and not do that which we ought to, but Lord we ask that you would enable us to worship in spirit and in truth today.
Prepare us for receiving your word and assist your servant as they bring your word to us today, may they bring a word that will speak to each person gathered here today, and give us something to take into the coming week with us.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit we bring our prayers.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Africa Day, Wesley Day

Yesterday was Africa Day and Wesley Day and I was planned to take two services with the on trial local preacher I am mentoring. Sylvia is from Zimbabwe so it was appropriate that she should take Africa Day while I did the Wesley Day topic.
She spoke with some passion about her beloved country (Africa)about its beauty, its scenery, its multi cultural population and its wild animals in their natural habitat. She shared a story about offering to take one of her sons to the safari park to see the lions etc., he asked are they wild and she said well not really and he said he had seen the real thing so no he didn't want to go to the safari park. She spoke on the lectionary readings from Isaiah and Matthew and tied them into the Africa topic exceptionally well. There were many favourable comments made directly to her and to me about her and she was invited to speak at a ladies meeting at the one church (something I have never been asked to do at this particular church in over 10 years of preaching there.
While all this was very good she gave me a newspaper to have a look at that really brought home the truth of the bad situation in Africa. I have scanned the front page item and hopefully have reproduced it above - please read it and pray for Africa.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Depressed?? Don't be!!

I was out preaching with my on note preacher this morning so obviously was not at my home church. I have just received an email from our church treasurer with some comments and the weekly notices attached and I really felt I would like to share the comments with a wider audience - it really does say something that I think is quite encouraging. Just by explanation Barry had a minor operation in the week which involved him staying in hospital overnight. Richard is very ill. Gill, Otto and Max are former members at Pleck who moved to Oxford, Otto and Gill are both doctors.

Hello one and all.

Thank you for your prayer, phone calls and good wishes following my brief experience of hospital food.
Scars and stones are on view: 10p a time - proceeds to Christian Aid.

Please continue to pray for Zimbabwe.
Pray also for Richard and Lee, getting married next week (should have been August) so that they can share a few precious days (perhaps weeks) together. Miracles still happen, prayer is powerful and Pleck's prayers work!

We went to Oxford yesterday and met up with Gill and Max. Otto was on call, we visited him at the hospital and managed 17 and a half minutes of quality time with him - his bleeper went 5 times in the 25 minutes.we were with him.
They send their love to all at Pleck and hope to be up before Christmas.

As you see from the notices, we were £19 short of last year's Christian Aid total as we went to press, then Margaret Catton arrived at church this morning with an envelope from a resident in Mulhouse Court containing £20, so we've broken last year's total and as we have been promised another donation of £50 from someone else, I'm going to try for a World record for Pleck. £70 more will do it!

A girl (young lady), from down the road arrived this morning, she's doing a sponsored walk for a bowel cancer charity tomorrow and was looking for sponsors. She went away with £30, a smile on her face and a promise to come back next week to let us know how she got on.
I find the people of PMC amazing. We've raised all that for Christian Aid, more than expected for Rwanda, loads of stuff for the Glebe and then £30 for a stranger!

We truly are too blessed to be depressed.


Saturday, 24 May 2008

I am very Rich!

I mentioned earlier in the week about counting our blessings and that I had come across a website some time ago which told me I was far better off than I would ever imagined when compared to the rest of the world.
I checked it again when I found it the other day and I find I am now in the top 1% of the richest people in the world.
I have put the link on the side of the blog that you might want to try yourself but be warned you might get a shock.

Revival Fires & Wesley Day

A bit of a tenuous link her in one sense but perhaps not in another. First point is I have received an email today from somebody who has been to the revival fires meeting in Dudley and said they felt a real sense of the presence of God and that there were people who were healed.
Second point is that I have been thinking about the fact that tomorrow is Wesley Day and while I knew that Mr Wesley had been listening to Luther's preface to the book of Romans that was all I knew. I have just read it and I think it is extremely powerful stuff and I could imagine if it were read by a gifted orator it would be the sort of thing that would make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. I could see how someone could say they felt their heart strangely warmed. If you haven't read it I would recommend you have a look at it and see for yourself.
You can check it out here

Friday, 23 May 2008

Vestry Prayer Ordinary 8

Loving Lord the God of history and the extraordinary, we thank you that although we are back in what is called ordinary time, with you there is always possibility for something out of the ordinary.
We thank you that we can gather today and are mindful that today is also designated Wesley Day when we commemorate the role of both John and Charles Wesley in their contribution to the life of the church universal.
We ask you to be with N...., one of Mr Wesley's preachers as they break open your word to us today.May we all be blessed and perhaps even feel our hearts strangely warmed as we bring our worship and our our voices to the thousand tongues singing our redeemers praise.
We ask all these things in and through the name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Count your blessings!

I am preparing to go out to speak at a meeting in a church I have never been to, having been invited by a colleague at work who reminded me this afternoon that I had said my topic would be 'Count you blessings'. My wife is coming with me so we will sing the hymn by Johnson Oatman Junior which was published in 1897 but still has a lot to say to us today. I was having a conversation today with another colleague at work about the tragic events that have been happening the past couple of weeks and the death tolls in these events. I am grateful for all the British weather that we live in what is a relatively safe haven with heat and light and running water and that according to a website I looked at recently but can't remember the link - I am in the top 5% of the worlds richest people, and there I thought I was poor.
I may well return to this topic and if I can find the website again I will put a link to it here so that you can look how rich you are!!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Vestry Prayer - Trinity Sunday

Immortal God, invisible and wise, we cry out Abba Father this morning and thank you that you loved the world so much, you sent your Son to die in our place.
Reveal to us again today the Good news of your Gospel.
Be in our hymns, prayers, readings and the preaching of the word.
Bless N... as s/he leads our worship and shares the scriptures with us. Grant us a blessing too through the power of your Holy Spirit in Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Let the Fire Fall 2

I posted the words of a hymn the other day and had an enquiry about the melody and while I could scan and copy it onto my blog I am concerned about infringing the copyright - the words I have written down from memory so they may not be absolutely right and I hope that does not mean an infringement of copyright.
The music is available in a hymn book called 'Making Melody' which was published by the Assemblies of God Publishing House in 1983.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Good behaviour

My son brought this item to my attention in this weeks Web User Magazine and after watching it I thought it was something that was as appropriate to blogging as to using forums (I think the proper word is fora.)
here is the address give it a try http://tinyurl/32erzr

Vestry Prayer - Pentecost Sunday

Here is my Vestry Prayer for this week - Pentecost Sunday.

Breath of God come breathe on us your children as we gather on this Pentecost Sunday. May we like the disciples of old experience the moving of the Holy Spirit in our service today.
Living God we pray that your Spirit would fall afresh on each one gathered here today, and that you would renew and refresh us. We ask Lord that our brother/sister would know the presence of the Holy Spirit as they lead our worship and bring you word to us today.
In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Let the fire fall!

I have been looking for hymns for this Sunday evening when I am leading worship at one of our churches and while there are some really great hymns for Pentecost in Hymns and Psalms and Mission Praise one of my favourite Pentecost hymns is not in either book. It may be that some readers of this blog will have come across the hymn elsewhere but I thought I would do a hymn for the day (Sunday -Pentecost) so here is mine.

1. They were gather’d in an upper chamber,
As commanded by the risen Lord,
And the promise of the Father
There they sought with one accord
When the Holy Ghost from heaven descended
Like a rushing wind and tongues of fire;
So dear Lord, we seek Thy blessing,
Come with glory now our hearts inspire.

Let the fire fall, let the fire fall,
Let the fire from heaven fall;
We are waiting and expecting,
Now in faith, dear Lord, we call
Let the fire fall, let the fire fall,
On Thy promise we depend;
From the glory of Thy presence
Let the Pentecostal fire descend.

2. As Elijah we would raise the altar
For our testimony clear and true
Christ the Saviour, loving Healer
Coming Lord, baptizer too,
Ever flowing grace and full salvation
For a ruined race Thy love has plann’d
For this blessed revelation,
For Thy written word we dare to stand.

3. “Tis the covenanted promise given
To as many as the Lord shall all
To the fathers and their children
To Thy people, one and call;
So rejoicing in Thy word unfailing
We draw nigh in faith Thy power to know
Come, O come, Thou burning Spirit
Set our hearts with heav’nly fire aglow

4. With a living coal from off Thy altar
Touch our lips to swell Thy wondrous praise
To extol Thee, bless, adore Thee,
And our songs of worship raise;
Let the cloud of glory now descending
Fill our hearts with holy ecstasy
Come in all Thy glorious fulness
Blessed Holy Spirit, have Thy way.

I pray that all my readers will experience again the blessings of the Pentecost season and who knows perhaps the fire will fall in some of our churches.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Healing in Methodist Churches

Following posts in a number of places about the Todd Bentley meetings in America there has been some discussion about healing and praying for the sick in Methodist Churches. Methodist Preacher has said there does not seem to be much going on in this respect but I am pleased to report there are five services on our current plan that are marked as healing services. Unfortunately three of them have already happened but for information and I suppose invite if anyone wished to go the remaining two are at Central Hall, Ablewell Street, Walsall at 6-30p.m. this Sunday 11th May and the following Sunday at 4p.m. at Bentley Methodist Church, Margaret Road, Bentley.
The Central Hall services appear to be a regular event on the second Sunday of the month except in June when it is on the fourth Sunday.
Aldridge Methodist Church also hold periodic healing services but there is not one on the next quarters plan.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Todd Bentley

Well I certainly started something with my last post about Todd Bentley, although most of the comments on this have been over on connexions. I have noticed the last couple of times I have flicked on to watch him that he seems now to be pressing on peoples stomachs rather than laying hands on or near their heads as he seemed to be in the early days.
I have to say that although I have watched some more and read the posts on connexions I still have some reservations about this whole thing.
I do believe that God heals and I do believe that God speaks to people, although I am not sure it is always in the booming voice from heaven that Hollywood would have us believe. I am also fairly sure that Paul in his writings talks about things being done in order and I am not sure someone shouting Bam at folks is quite being done in order.
I was some years back in a meeting at a Methodist Church in Wolverhampton where Trevor Dearing spoke and then prayed for the sick - this was my first experience of people falling under the power of prayer - there was a teenager near to us who had been brought in a wheelchair and her parents said she could not walk even a few steps. They wheeled her to the front and Trevor Dearing prayed for her very quietly and reverently and she got up from the wheelchair and danced around the church praising God and giving him the glory. There were many others that night who received haling but this particular one has always stuck in my mind and I think demonstrated very clearly how God can use us ordinary folk when we let him.
I will be keeping a watching brief on Todd Bentley and the comments made over on connexions and may even comment again on this intriguing topic.

Monday, 5 May 2008 Pentecost Sunday in Birmingham City Centre Pentecost Sunday in Birmingham City Centre

Walsall Plan March to May

Please click on image to enlarge!

This is a test post to see if I can do this - if this works I will later post the plan for June to August.

God T.V.

I occasionally dip in and out of the 'God' channels on Sky and have to say that I have come across some stuff I have thoroughly enjoyed and in fact this was where I first came across Southern Gospel music and the Gaither Homecoming crowd.
This last week or so I have been flicking channels at odd times and keep coming across meetings led by Todd Bentley in America and I am not really sure what to think of these programmes.
I have been on one hand impressed by the fact that when he prays for people he doesn't 'push' them over - it really does seem as if they fall under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand I worry about the 'words of knowledge' he claims to receive - I don't dispute that God can and does speak to people or that God can not or would not give a word of knowledge, I just have a reservation given the size of the crowds at these events that it would be almost possible to find someone with any medical condition you would wish to name in such a crowd. I flicked on last night and he was saying he had a word of knowledge that someone had severe arthritis in their left knee and not very long after there were five people on stage with arthritis in their left knees. He then asked them if they had been healed and then prayed for them again and for the most part without him actually touching them they collapsed under the anointing. There are some of the services I take where you would be on fairly safe ground asking if anyone had arthritis in their left knee and my attendances are minuscule in comparison to the crowds at these events.
The other thing that amazes me is that people are travelling from across the world to Florida to be part of the anointing - there was a pastor there from England the other day when I switched on and he said that he had been watching on the TV at home in England and just felt he wanted to be part of this move of God.
I have over the years in pentecostal churches I have attended seen God move in peoples lives in a very tangible way and it would seem that this is happening in the Todd Bentley meeting so perhaps it is just me being a little sceptical due to my stiff British Upper Lip or of course it could be that I have some concern about the building up of peoples hopes in respect of being healed.
Not sure if many of my readers will have seen these programmes but it would be interested if you have to hear what you think. Sky channel 760 is showing these quite a lot if you want to have a look.