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New Blog

February 6, 2013

Dear all,

You may have may not have noticed that this blog has come to a stop. 

I am now blogging for my church at http://www.citybase.org There you will find not only blogs by me, but thoughts and insights from the whole city:base team. 

Have a look – I hope you`re not disappointed. 

 

Matt 

Be Careful What you Pray for

November 13, 2012

Just over 2 years ago, a good friend of mine and I decided to start a time of prayer for international students, we prayed for and hour to an hour and a half every Wednesday. There was three of us.

Our prayer was simple: “Lord, send workers into the harvest”
Now I`m nothing if not hard-nosed. And two years later through brute-force, ignorance and mustard seed of faith we are still pray every week for international students in Sheffield. Last time I counted there were 12 people praying.
Being somewhat Apostolic in nature I tend to think in terms of multiplication and 3 X 4 = 12. What started as a simple prayer, God has honored and multiplied our tiny prayer team 4-fold.
My prayer is God would build faith in me from this small microcosm of how He works… Not just in terms of prayer but also on the mission field.
Last night we had 9 international students join us for our evening gathering. Join me in my prayer that God would continue His practice of multiplication.
I`ll blog again when we`ve 48 prayers and 36 new disciples…pray it will be sooner then you think.

Imitating the King

August 22, 2012

In 1977 when Elvis died (if in fact he did) there were 9 known Elvis impersonators in the world.

By the year 2000 there were over 485,000 known Elvis impersonators

If this trend continues, by 2050 1 in every 5 people will by an Elvis impersonator, and Elvis Impersonators will overtake the Chinese as the largest and fastest growing people group on planet earth.

I heard a Church leader from Reading share this a couple of years ago – and it has stuck with me.

Jesus is SO much better than Elvis, so much more worthy of imitation.

The Apostle Paul says, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ”

And as Jesus paints a picture of disciple making discipleship, we must take seriously the call on the each believer to imitate Christ in order to reveal what He is like to those who do not yet know Him.

Covert Persecution

June 25, 2012

I started blogging at the same time I joined a mission team, looking to plant churches among international students.

A few weeks ago we met as a team and had a brief discussion about persecution. This conversation helped me to articulate a feeling I’d had for a while, one which I think is a key to understanding the planting process.

Every Sunday at 4.00pm I meet with my planting buddies and spend a couple of hours trying to meet people of peace and plant churches New Testament style. Around 3.00pm every week I start feeling nervous, tired, apathetic, uninspired, unable, I lack confidence and conviction and begin making up excuses in my head about why I can’t go, and if it wasn’t for the accountability of the team I’m certain I wouldn’t have made it at least 50% of the time.

Jesus want’s me to go with expectancy, faith and compassion.

The feelings I am experiencing are not the word of the Lord, or even I belief I hold of myself. Rather they are the words of the accuser and deceiver, trying to dis-empower me from the active work of the Holy Spirit in me.

Jesus tells us that we are to expect persecution, however this takes shape in my head as someone throwing stones at me of sending me hate mail. The lies of the enemy are much must subtle and much more simple. He covertly persecutes those doing Jesus’ will as, to quote C.S Lewis, he is just as happy with a materialist as a magician.

So… from now on, whenever I feel something niggling that isn’t from God.I’m going to clock it, tell someone about it, remind myself of the truth.

It is never as bad as you think it is going to be.

 

Amos

June 21, 2012

Ok, you can stop the hate mail… I’m back in the bloggosphear… sorry, I got distracted by my real life (jokes).

One of the things that distracted me from the christian discipline of blogging was a conference called David’s Tent.

Ok “conference” is definitely the wrong word – mostly because if it was billed as a conference not one of the people who was there would have turned out – it was three days of continuous worship in a field. It was stretching, powerful & I loved it.

It was stretching because I’m a pragmatist.

It was stretching because I like things to fit nicely into shapes and diagrams which beautifully and geometrically explain the secrets of the kingdom.

and it wasn’t like that.

the prophet Amos says:

In that day:

“I will restore David’s fallen shelter —
I will repair its broken walls
and restore its ruins….
   “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from all the hills, 

I think, dream (and blog) about the days when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman, when the harvest comes in so forcefully and effectively that the logical order of Sow, Reap, Keep is lost because it is all happening so quickly & messily.

Put there is a pre-requisite.

“HE will restore David’s Fallen Tent”

David’s tent is the place of worship, the place of prayer… where all honor, glory, praise, thanksgiving & adoration is continuously given to JESUS… our missionary movement must be underpinned by an offering of worship to the creator of the universe.

In my admittedly very limited experience… the places marked by missional breakthrough (and I’m not talking about us here)  have a dynamic  environment of worship & prayer.

ok… that’s the Kairos… watch this space for repentance and belief.

 

Movements II

April 16, 2012

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been meeting with a bloke Towan introduced me to called Danny.  We meet to talk about Jesus and His advancing Kingdom.

He already has a Bible… and In the front there are two pages of notes…The first page has a message from Towan and Becky to a guy called Tony.  This is a picture of the second message from Tony to a guy called CC.

Danny had received this Bible from CC, who had received it from Tony, who had received it from Towan and Becky.

All this has happened in less than 2 years. 

That is what I call a movement.

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:34-38

SO…

April 4, 2012

Over recent weeks we at City:Base have been thinking about humility and the humility of Jesus.

As it is Holy Week, it is only appropriate that we look at Jesus’ last week and simply one of the greatest, most extravagant acts of humility the world has ever or is ever likely to see.

“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13: 1-5

there are two really quick things I want to reflect on, in this well known passage of scripture.

The first is the word “so”. Quite simply “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.”

So: ‘because of’‘as a consequence of ‘ 

Surely it would make more sense for Jesus, knowing that all things had been put under his power, He decides to lord it over his followers, use this power for his own benefit, manipulate and control those around him… I dare say this is closer to how I would behave…

No Jesus takes off his outer clothing and washes his disciples feet, not in order to gain power over all things, but because He has power over all things. Staggering.

However, what is even more astonishing still is who’s feet he washes. It is not an accident or coincidence that John reminds us of Jesus’ omniscience, saying “the devil had already prompted Judas to betray Him”, just before Jesus washes His disciples feet – John is telling us that, even in the knowledge of Judas’ coming betrayal Jesus washes Judas’ feet! Unbelievable.

I don’t know about you but I find it hard to comprehend the humility of Jesus in leaving heaven and giving up His very nature of God in order to become a man and obedient to death (Philippians 2)… even though that is the full extent of Jesus’ humility I find it near impossible to understand.

But in my most humble of moments I can begin to imagine how difficult it is to do something nice to someone who has been mean to you… How much further does Jesus go than this?

He washes the feet of the man who will betray him, in full knowledge of that forthcoming betrayal.

And this is just a fraction of the love and humility Jesus will show by the end of the week.