It was just over a year ago that Pastor Michael wrote an article entitled “New Wine? New Wineskins” (Encounter January 2016), wineskins being a metaphor for leadership. We had commenced a process of beginning to make changes to our leadership and overall structure.
Have you ever woken up with a sense of excitement because of where you were going that day? I remember the day my wife and I went on a trip to Milford Sound in New Zealand. It’s a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and wondrous views. Even though we had a long journey ahead, and even though it was an early start and was very cold, we were up, ready, and looking forward to it – because we believed where we were heading was going to be worth it.
Ten years ago some friends kindly gave us their old TV. It was a large beast of a television. Much larger than our old one. It took two of us to carry it into the house and set it on its purpose-built stand. The old cathode ray tube (CRT) telly has worked well for years. The only time we could be bothered to move the TV was when we decorated the room.
Many years ago there was a festival in Jerusalem, called the 'Festival of Tabernacles'. In the evening they had a lighting ceremony called the 'night of illumination'. Everyone crowded into the courtyard of the temple; they all carried candles with them and 4 giant candles were lit. Some said that there was enough light to fill every courtyard in Jerusalem!
It was a Thursday morning. Mark was in Romania, the washing machine has just made a huge clunking sound and stopped spinning, my kids went to school grumpy and I was sat ready to plan the session for Day 4 of Powerkids for Elim Festival.
The day's title was from Matthew 16 when Jesus asks his disciples "Who do you say I am?”
Is there a topic that you naturally find yourself talking about?
I’ve just come back from a fantastic holiday and am feeling more blessed and relaxed as a result. It was great to sit and read some books in the sunshine and practice my rusty Spanish a little. While sitting round the pool I noticed however just how many people have tattoos these days. It used to be that if you had a tattoo it made you unique. I joked with my kids that these days if you want to be unique, don't have a tattoo. I really did feel in the minority.
Queuing has been called a British pastime. It is something that I personally find irritating. In traffic if one lane seems to be going faster there is a temptation to queue hop to try and get ahead.
(What we are all here for)
Have you ever looked at the stars and lost yourself in questions such as “Who am I?”, “Why am I here”?, “What is the point of it all”? We feel so small when we see the vastness of the universe. It makes us ask the deepest questions. In Psalm 8, King David, inspired by God, and no doubt looking up at a clear night sky, also reflected on these deepest of questions…
When I was a younger, I wasn’t really keen on playing football, cricket etc. out on the streets in our area. I enjoyed cycling and was good at badminton, but where we lived – like a lot of places – if you were a boy you needed to be great at football to succeed.