Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Friday, December 29, 2017

New Year Resolution for Disciples of Jesus

Do you need to change?

Most people don't believe that Christian perfection is a possibility this side of glory, therefore most people, especially the humble, recognise that there is a need for change in their life. In particular, disciples, who are always striving in the power of the Holy Spirit, to become more and more like Jesus ... disciples are always aware of the need for change. Paul puts it like this in 2 Corinthians 3:18

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wesley has a Huge problem with his Testicles

Jan 4 1774: Three or four years ago, a stumbling horse threw me forward on the pommel of the saddle. I felt a good deal of pain; but it soon went off, and I thought of it no more. Some months after I observed, testiculum alterum altero duplo majorem esse. I consulted a Physician: He told me

Epiphany Sunday: Eureka

A few Sundays in the year have special names, such as Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, Trinity Sunday, Christ the King Sunday, etc. This Sunday is called Epiphany and you might well what? Epiphany is the Sunday closest to January 6th, the

The Christmas Season: Stars to Steer By

This is the next in my series of blogs in which I am reviewing Joan Chittister's The Liturgical Year.
[Order it here and read my earlier reviews of her book here.]
Thus far we have looked at Advent; now we move to the Christmas season, which includes Christmas Day and the season of Epiphany.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

This Child Cannot Be Ignored: Stop Ignoring Him

The birth of this child would not be remembered if it were not for His life ... and His life would not be remembered if it were not for His death ... and His death would not be remembered if it were not for His resurrection ... and His resurrection should not be remembered without the memory of His promise to return.

Because this child was born 2000 years ago ... and for absolutely NO other reason than His birth, the streets of my suburb, city and nation look like this:

A prayer for Christmas preparations

We praise you, God,
 we praise you, for your Name is near;
 people tell of your wonderful deeds (Ps 75:1)

... your name is like perfume poured out (SS 1:3b)

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, 
he gave the right to become children of God (Jn 1:12)

Lord Jesus,

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Carol Service: There were Two Trees in the Centre of the Garden

There we have a beautiful Christmas tree in the garden, and I’m reminded of another garden, long, long ago. It was called the Garden of Eden, a garden God planted right back at the beginning of all gardens, and the Bible tells us that in the middle of it was a tree and it was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Original "Hark the Herald Angels" from the Wesley Brothers

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
"Glory to the King of kings;
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

Friday, December 8, 2017

Advent 2: Let God Distract You

The Advent season sounds the alarm, once a year, with a wake up call to prepare ourselves for the return of Christ. Many of us press the snooze button the rest of the year, but if we let Advent do its work ... No more hitting the snooze button! The message of Advent insists that the first step in getting ready for our Savior is to wake up and stay awake.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Advent is here: Happy New Year

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Sourced here)

Pastoral Message from Cedric for my worldwide community

‘And He who sits upon the throne said ‘Behold I make things new” Rev 21:5

Happy New Year !!!!!?????

Advent marks the beginning of a new year in the Christian calendar. The liturgical year starts with the first Sunday in Advent, which in 2017 is 3rd December, and then

Prayer for World AIDS Day 2017

10 years of my ministry (1996-2006) were spent at the worldwide epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic ... rural KwaZulu Natal in South Africa ... which had the highest per capita rates of new infections and number of deaths worldwide. That many of those deaths were completely preventable is the well documented story of denialism and quackery that were the institutionalized order and government policy of the day in South Africa. Praise God that His will was eventually done in terms of justice and mercy. I have journeyed professionally and compassionately through the path of this scourge. In my 3rd year as a dental student (1980) our lecture in Virology (which we did together with the medical students) on the subject was a simple 4 or 5 lines of notes on this new disease !!! The rest, of course, is (ongoing) history.
Please pray the prayer below, which I republish from last year, as often as you can:

Gracious God and Father of all comfort, Creator of all life and Purveyor of all creation, Almighty God of the Universe to You belongs all life. Today, on World AIDS Day, we give you thanks and praise for Your mercy, grace, compassion and love which are beyond measure. In You is our Salvation and in You

Thursday, November 30, 2017

What James is all About

Please watch this video as an introduction to our series on James

Friday, November 17, 2017

Hypocrites, Church decline and Disobedience

Why do we have communion as often as we do? Plain and simply, because Jesus told us to. And if Jesus said: “Do it!” ... we believe we ... must ... do ... it. And if we are going to be people who, with integrity, are going to back up our arguments with: “The Bible says ...; or, Jesus says ... ” ... well, then we have to be very, very, careful. Because we can’t pick and choose which commands we will obey and expect others to obey ... and which we will ignore and tell others they can ignore as well. Jesus had a name for people like that .... hypocrites ... and hypocrites and church growth don't go together.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Why? Making Sense of God's Will: When Prayers Go Unanswered.

Last week we began a new series Why? Making Sense of God's Will and we looked at God and Suffering. This week we look at an experience almost as common as undeserved suffering, namely the fact that sometimes our prayers go unanswered.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans'/Remembrance Day

As a child I used to love the build up to 11 November and the making of paper poppies. Below is one of my favourite poems regarding the remembrance of fallen soldiers and a prayer.
We Will Remember Them

Why? Making Sense of God's Will: God and Suffering

John 11:32-37
Why does God allow deep furrows of pain, of suffering to dig into the otherwise clean fields (there are no weeds in this furrow) of our lives?

Are there any seeds we can bring to sow into the deep furrows of our own  suffering .. into the suffering of others ... into the suffering, on occasion, of God’s church .. into the suffering of the world... ?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Gospel in Disney: Pocahontas

Children's Address

The story of Pocahontas is different to The Lion King and Aladdin, because Pocahontas was a real historical figure. She was born in 1595 and was 12 years old when she met John Smith. She didn't marry John Smith, she married a tobacco farmer named John Rolfe. She died when she was 22 and is buried in Kent, in England.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Reformation Sunday: Re-Formation of the Soul

Last week, when we celebrated 500 Years of Reformation (read Reformation 500 years: A Fish Rots from the Head) I ended with the words: "I call the church of Jesus Christ and every Christian, to ongoing re-formation" and then said: "More on that next Sunday."

Friday, October 20, 2017

Reformation 500 years: A Fish Rots from the Head

As a fellow sinner with the rest of humankind, but a saved sinner because of my Lord Jesus Christ, I look today at the 500 year celebration of Luther and the Protestant Reformation, wondering if the church of Jesus Christ in 2017, and our church here at MWC, needs reformation. And I suggest we answer that with a simple Yes, or a simple No!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Noah:The First Drunk

We continue our series on "The Old, Old, Stories" which we began with Adam and Eve's descent into disobedience, followed by Cain's murder of his brother Abel, last week we found ourselves at Noah and the ark and this week we are with Noah sometime after the flood. You might remember that I said last week that in some way each of these stories is a story of the cycle of violence, mankind's violence towards God (our sin) which always leads to violence (sin) against others. Today's story takes us to that most dreadful of violences, family violence ... but I'm getting ahead of myself!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Noah: How to find favour in God's eyes

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

We continue our series on "The Old, Old, Stories" which we began with Adam and Eve's descent into disobedience, followed by Cain's murder of his brother Abel and today we find ourselves at Noah, which really is a story of the cycle of violence, mankind's violence towards God (our sin) which always leads to violence (sin) against others. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gospel in Disney: Diamond in the Rough

Children's Address

The story of Aladdin is from 1001 Arabian Nights and it's about a young man who was orphaned very young and ended up raising himself and who survives by stealing food in the market. In an early scene we see him stealing some bread and immediately we're tempted to think: "Hmmf ... a thief!" but we need to be careful. Let's watch the first clip

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Harvest Festival and Saving Souls

Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is the season of Harvest Festivals and I have been reminded that Passover/Easter, Pentecost (Jewish and Christian) and Tabernacles (Final Harvest festival, yet to be fulfilled in Christianity) are all related to various stages of Harvest. Mindful also of Wesley's instruction to preachers: "Everywhere avail yourself of the great festivals, by preaching on the occasion" it seems that the Harvest season lends itself to the saving of souls.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jesus' Rocks

What did the diamond say to the coal?
I’ve been under a bit of pressure lately.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Adam & Eve: Paradise Lost

A front page newspaper headline this week announced that more people in the UK don’t have any form of religious faith than do have ... and in an editorial comment the next day the paper asked if we should care?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Gospel in Disney: Jesus, Lion of Judah


Today we begin a new series looking at the Disney classics and we start with the LionKing. This idea of a lion king that Disney picks up is actually a Biblical idea: it starts all the way back in the time of Jacob, who had 12 sons, one of whom was named Judah. When Jacob is dying, he pronounces a word over each of his sons. These words would come to define their lives ... that’s the power a father has ... the power to define what a child is like and when Jacob came to Judah, who wasn’t his oldest son, he spoke a special word about Judah and his future descendants. Let’s hear that word again:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Guide to Daily Quiet Time

Read my sermon on Daily Quiet Time here

Daily Quiet Time-some tips

· Quiet time is when you find a quiet place to be alone with God to pray, to read the Bible and to meditate. You should try to be regular and disciplined about this.
· This outline is offered to help you structure your daily quiet time. You do not have to stick to it slavishly. Use as little or as much as you need, and add to it as you wish. Start small and allow it to grow gradually.
· You may want to keep a hymn book or chorus book handy and make use of it during your devotions.
· Try to set aside 10-30 minutes a day for this.

Back to Basics: Daily Quiet Time

Every now and again we should revisit the basics, and that's just what we've been doing over the Summer. This week we look at Personal Devotion and the Daily Quiet Time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Back to Basics: The Forgiven Forgive

Three weeks ago we started a series which will run for the Summer break which I've called Back to Basics. The first week we looked at the truth that God has a unique plan for each of our lives and He reveals that plan to us through Call. Last week we looked at the one thing Jesus spoke about more than any other, the Kingdom of God. This week … well, I’ll get to that in a moment. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Back to Basics: The Kingdom is Like ...

Last week we started a series which will run for the Summer break which I've called Back to Basics. Last week we looked at the truth that God has a unique plan for each of our lives and He reveals that plan to us through Call. This week we look at the one thing Jesus spoke about more than any other:
The Kingdom of God.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back to Basics: The Call of God: Scary, Clear, Relevant

God has a plan for your life ... "Lord, what career should I pursue ... should I do an apprenticeship, go to college or uni ... where should I study ... should I marry or pursue a single lifestyle ... who should I marry ... what house should I buy ... when must I retire ... ??? God has a plan for your life. "I know the plans I have for you" says God in Jer 29:11. Can I expect God to tell me what His plans are for my life, or is that left for me to work out on my own. A God who has plans for my life but doesn't tell me what they are would be a devil.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Us and Them: NO!

In our series on "Partnership" we have covered a great deal of ground. We started off by looking at the Beginning and saw that God entered into partnership with the humans He created, commanding them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. He could have created the earth full of people, but He left that up to us. He could have subdued the earth He created, but instead, He asked us to subdue it, working with Him. Partners with God, here on earth. Not equal partners, but partners nonetheless.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Anyone for Sex

I would suspect that in teaching about sex, most would expect to hear a whole lot of do’s and don’ts, especially don’ts. But the language that says “do not” all the time is the language that is still under the Law and as you might remember from last week, we are now free of the Law and to quote Paul:

God's Grace is Bigger Than Our Sinfulness: Allellulia

This morning our subject was Anyone for Sex. This evening we look at a great Biblical hero, King David, who thought it was Anyone for Sex, and we see the destruction sexual sin can cause. But our focus will be on the good news that, in the story of David and Bathsheba, and in your story and mine, the last word is not David’s sinfulness but God’s grace.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Whose Body Is It?

This is an extremely difficult subject, while at the same time being an extremely easy subject. There were Jewish converts in Galatia who were teaching that salvation was possible only for those who kept the Old Testament laws. Using circumcision as an example of a clear command of God, their argument was that in order to be a “real” Christian, one must keep all of the Law. Paul's answer, although it takes five chapters of argument, is basically that we are free of the Law ... we're free of it!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Creation Walk 7: Conclusion

As our Creation Walk draws to a close, return to page 3 and Day 1: Record any new light our Lord has shed on your path as a disciple going into the future.

For later reflection

Having enjoyed God’s creation today, what do the following verses reveal:

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope

Creation Walk 6: Jesus and Nature

Jesus appreciated the beauty of nature (Matt 6:28-29) and showed respect for nature in His parables, which are rich in nature imagery. Through His upbringing in rural Galilee I imagine He would have learned about God’s care for creation by observing fruit trees, flowers, birds and fishermen and by
working as a carpenter. Jesus affirmed the Scriptures’ teaching that God created all things (Mark 10:6; 13:19Matt. 19:4).

Jesus knew that nature reflects the activity of God and does not operate independently (Matt. 5:45; 6:26-30Luke 12:6). God is a loving Father who sustains and cares for all creation. God gives life to all beings (John 5:17, 6:33Luke 24:38) and provides food for animals, birds and plants (Matt 6:26-30Luke 12:6). Since He loves all people, He causes the sun to shine and rain to fall on both righteous and wicked people (Matt 5:45Ps 50:11; 104:14, 17). As

Creation Walk 5: A Marriage without Consent

Depending on the train schedule, we might see a train crossing one of the fields during our walk.

In 1712, Thomas Newcomen developed the first steam engine. His single coal burning engine, which he used to drain water from coal mines, operated much more cheaply and efficiently than the alternative – it replaced five hundred horses. The rest is history: Suddenly, instead of

Creation Walk 4: Luke 13

Why did I think of Herod when I saw these flowers during our first visit to Sheringham to plan our Creation Walk?
You’ll find the answer somewhere in Luke 13

Still in Luke 13, Jesus tells a parable of a fig tree. I’m not sure whether there are any fig trees in the park, but there are lots of other trees, some of which you might notice are being specially cared for by the park gardeners ... I suspect in order to get the best from the trees.

Creation Walk 3: Reflections

Some particular reflections

The broad way is much easier isn’t it?
‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’ Mt 7:13-14
Lord, please show me where I am walking on a broad road and bring me back on the strait and narrow (The older translation from which we get the idiom reads: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.)

Creation walk 2: In the Beginning

On our walk, keep your eyes open for different things from different days and perhaps keep a record here of anything that is special to you. Perhaps use Day 1 to record any new light that God may/will shed on your path.

Creation: Who Cares?

Romans 8:18-25
This sermon was preceded by a Creation Walk
Read my Creation Walk Booklet here

At the beginning of our teaching series on Partnership, we went back to the beginning and were reminded that "In the beginning" God created human beings, male and female "in His own image" and placed them in His newly created earth, giving to them the command ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ We looked at the language of humans having dominion over nature and saw that that should be exercised for the good of creation, not the selfish destruction of nature. Yes, the dominion given to humans in Genesis 1:26-29 does imply a human preeminence, and that theme is echoed in Psalm 8 but it opposes a theology of domination 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Creation Walk

Creation Walk

Saturday 24 June

Creation ... Who Cares?

Sunday 25 June

Read sermon here

Welcome to our Creation Walk. It is my hope and has been my prayer that today we will all have a fresh encounter with the God, our God, who made everything you see in the natural world ...   for us, ....  for you, .... for me.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Chaos and Mess: Fertile Ground for the Holy Spirit

Goodness me ... if we look at the world around us, we can be tempted to say: “What chaos, what a mess!”

Friday, May 26, 2017

Your truth is your truth, My truth is my truth. What nonsense!

  ‘What is truth?’ retorted Pilate.

Pilate says to Jesus at His trial “What is truth?” This is a question that is debated to this day, “How do we define truth?” Pilate would have debated this question during his education which qualified him as Rome’s legal administrator of Judea. He will have studied the same philosophers that form the basis of western philosophy today, namely Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Their teaching was already a few hundred years old by the time of Jesus, and that same teaching is taught in universities today ... and that same question is debated in first year law courses and in many of the arts subjects: What is truth?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wesley's Hymn for Ascension Day

Hail the day that sees Him rise, Alleluia!
To His throne above the skies, Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
Reascends His native heaven, Alleluia!

There the glorious triumph waits, Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates, Alleluia!
Christ hath conquered death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in, Alleluia!

Circled round with angel powers, Alleluia!
Their triumphant Lord, and ours, Alleluia!
Conqueror over death and sin, Alleluia!
“Take the King of glory in! Alleluia!”

Him though highest Heav’n receives, Alleluia!
Still He loves the earth He leaves, Alleluia!
Though returning to His throne, Alleluia!
Still He calls mankind His own, Alleluia!

See! He lifts His hands above, Alleluia!
See! He shows the prints of love, Alleluia!
Hark! His gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
Blessings on His church below, Alleluia!

Still for us His death He pleads, Alleluia!
Prevalent He intercedes, Alleluia!
Near Himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
Harbinger of human race, Alleluia!

Master, (will we ever say), Alleluia!
Taken from our head to day, Alleluia!
See Thy faithful servants, see, Alleluia!
Ever gazing up to Thee, Alleluia!

Grant, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
Far above yon azure height, Alleluia!
Grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
Seeking Thee beyond the skies, Alleluia!

Ever upward let us move, Alleluia!
Wafted on the wings of love, Alleluia!
Looking when our Lord shall come, Alleluia!
Longing, gasping after home, Alleluia!

There we shall with Thee remain, Alleluia!
Partners of Thy endless reign, Alleluia!
There Thy face unclouded see, Alleluia!
Find our heaven of heavens in Thee, Alleluia!