Showing posts from 2013

Grace Thoughts 7 - Unity

If your understanding of grace leads you to bring division to the body of Christ, it's broken. Time to think again.

Praying with Jelly Babies

This weekend we've had the pleasure of hosting a group of young people about to head off to Thailand as part of BMS World Mission's year out programme called "Action Teams" During the church service they shared in last night they distributed mini packs of Jelly Babies to everyone and invited us to pray as we ate, using the guide below with each colour Jelly Baby corresponding to a different team to pray for.  I share this here so you'll be able to join us as we continue to pray for the teams through the year.

Vacancy - Entrepreneurial Minister / Missionary in Wolverhampton

We're looking for a special individual, couple or team to come and work with us in seeing this wonderful city impacted by the kingdom of God. If what follows appeals to you, then feel free to get in touch for a more full profile, and ways of finding out more. An Opportunity in Wolverhampton Tabernacle Baptist Church is a thriving, ethnically diverse, welcoming church in Wolverhampton. For the last two years we have been supporting, and then merging into our structures, a church in the city centre called the Church at Broad Street. The Church at Broad Street had once been a thriving evangelical church, but has, over many years, dwindled and struggled. The purpose of the recent merger is to release new ways of mission and ministry into that part of the city. The location is a tough one. The neighbours are fast-food restaurants, sex shops, a homeless hostel, a nightclub and a rock venue. Close by is the University, with a guesstimated 5,000 students living in halls

50 years of dreaming

Wednesday 28th August 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of Revd. Dr Martin Luther King Jnr's famous "I have a dream" speech. I wonder in what ways we need contemporary Dr Kings to rise up and speak on behalf of those who remain marginalised, neglected, denied their human rights, and left languishing in the misery of unkept promises. As a mark or respect, and in honour of possibly the greatest Baptist preacher ever, I reproduce his most famous speech below. I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But 100 years later, we must face the tragic fact

British Baptist leadership changes

There are some exciting posts being advertised at the moment, so I share them here to inform you, but also to ask you to pray with Baptists in Britain as many of our structures and those leading them go through a season of great change. The new General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Revd. Lynn Green, will be inducted into the post at a service at Sutton Coldfield Baptist Church on the afternoon of Sunday 22 September, marking the most visible shift in our leadership. Alongside this, several of our regional associations are currently advertising, or have recently been searching for new Regional Ministers. Yorkshire Baptist Association and Eastern Baptist Association have recently closed applications. Northern Baptist Association are looking for a new Regional Minister with a special responsibility for enabling mission in that area. More details here North West Baptist Association are looking for a Regional Minister to help guide them through the next three year

A prayer for those struggling to sleep

There's been a lot of discussion of abuse and threatening behaviour on social media in the last week or so. On of those caught up in the crossfire, for daring to voice her concern at the degrading representations of women in "Lads mags" and on page 3 of The Sun is the theologian / songwriter / journalist Vicky Beeching. Tonight she asks for prayers as she seeks to find peace and sleep following days of abusive comments and threats. So, I reproduce this as my prayer for her, and also other women, speaking out, shouting back, taking social media back from the voices and comments of an evil minority.  From "Celtic Daily Prayer" a prayer from Anne Wadey The sky is bright with uncountable stars. I know they are uncountable: I have tried this impossible task these sleepless nights. Where are You, Lord, as the fog of fatigue numbs me of all but the desperate desire to sleep? Comfort me, Lord, with Your presence as the ever-watchful mother soothes the

Communion service at Baptist Assembly

This last weekend saw approx 1300 baptists joining together in a very sunny Blackpool for the annual Baptist Assembly; a time for us to gather in prayer, celebration and reflection about the life of our Baptist Union of Great Britain , and the work of BMS World Mission. For the last few years I've had the privilege of being one of those who gets to shape some of the larger sessions, we have the somewhat utilitarian title of "session Design Group". It has been a thrilling experience seeing words we've crafted and laboured over be used in ways that have brought joy, peace, hope, laughter, as well as creating space for people to encounter God or access his word afresh. This year I had the task of shaping a communion service that would be intergenerational, that is to say would speak in some way to people of every age. For various reasons there were some constraints (getting more than a thousand people moving around in a fairly full space can be tough, and we needed t

Excellent news!

This article it repeated here with kind permission from The Baptist Times Lynn Green elected new General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain Saturday, 04 May 2013 16:18 The Revd Lynn Green has been unanimously elected as the next general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. There were no votes against and only a handful of abstentions when Assembly delegates appointed Lynn to the role during a packed Baptist Union AGM on Saturday morning. She will take up the post in September 2013 and will become the first female general secretary of our Union. After receiving a standing ovation she said how 'incredibly humbled and honoured' she felt, and how through the whole process 'we have all been seeking God together.' She paid tribute to her husband Stuart and all those who had supported her ministry, adding, 'This is not about me. It's about all of us. We are the Union.' She was the unanimous choice of the General Secretary Nomi

A prayer request

Many of you ill have already read the terrible news that Matthew Warren, son of Rick and Kay, has died. If I'd been at my home church tomorrow I'd have led prayers there for them as a family, and as a church. Please join me in prayer for Rick and Kay, their other children and their grandchildren. Pray too for those you know who are struggling with mental illness, and please pray for Saddleback Church. Beyond praying for God to be close to them, for them to know the reality of Him as the God of all comfort, the father of all compassion, I hardly know how to suggest you pray, but please do.

Passionately Pursuing His Presence

This year we're taking inspiration from Psalm 84. We're regularly using this image from Anneke Kaai's remarkable collection of works inspired by psalms. You can buy these as a book, along with the Message translation and the artist's explanation, entitled " The Psalms, an artists impression ". Here's her thinking behind this piece, which we have turned (with the artist's permission) into a postcard to give to the folks here at Tabernacle Baptist Church Wolverhampton. The poet lives far away and longs to travel to Jerusalem, to the Temple, to be close to God.   He thinks of the birds that fly around the Temple grounds, building their nests, even in the Temple pillars. This painting shows the head of one of the pair of copper pillars at the Temple entrance. The pillar was called Boaz (cf. 1 Kings 7:15-22) and had a lily-shaped capital, decorated with a pattern of seven interwoven chains and pomegranate shapes.  A space high up in the cap

GraceThoughts 6 - Stand

So, It's been too long since I blogged, and too long since a the last in the GraceThoughts series. Sorry.