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Pastor Pete: Renewed vision and loving the alien posted 3 years ago by Ollie
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Small acts of kindness posted 5 years ago by Pastor Pete
I was looking again at the story of the Good Samaritan this week. One of our biggest tendencies to failure in this life is that to take the position of judge and condemner. When the good Samaritan arrives at the scene he finds a man who was beaten, broken, possibly even unconscious and left for dead. But he doesn’t even pause to question how someone might get into that situation, no, he springs into action! If you look at the attitude of the Good Samaritan it is quite remarkable. Not only does he go over to the man, but he gets out his First Aid kit! He bandaged this man up, put him on his own transport (a donkey) and took him to the Inn-keeper. We often miss the fact that during that first night at the Inn, the Samaritan cared for the injured man. All of these small details point to what should be the spirit of the servant Christ in us. It’s so easy when you are on a mission to miss out on the delicacy of kindness in the details. We must remember that it’s often the little acts of kindness among the broader charge that can make the difference. Jesus chastised the disciples when they thought their business was to important and to sophisticated for little children. We are called to bare one another’s burdens and encourage one another in Christ. Practically this means meeting people where they are at, being very careful not to impose our presuppositions on them, to serve people sacrificially and encourage people in Christ.

Recently I’ve been diagnosed with Angina, and I’ve needed to rely on the care and support of others to help me get through. When I’ve struggled physically, my brothers and sisters have come to my need in small and practical ways. I’ve seen the light of Christ in those who have come to my need. People haven’t judged my lack of efficiency or complained at the tedium of the support that I’ve needed, they’ve loved me like Jesus loves me. What a blessing!
Kingdom Building posted 5 years ago by Pastor Pete
Yesterday I was thinking about Kingdom building – which is what we’re all about. In Revelation 5, John weeps and the angel says, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.’ The prophesy of Jacob in Genesis is fulfilled. Isn’t that amazing, God is fulfilling his promises, that he will establish his Kingdom on the earth. Do we have the faith to believe that God will follow through on his promises to us? He has a plan for our lives and a plan for this nation and the church is a huge part of that plan. I get really excited when I think about God’s kingdom because it’s about His people rising up and the homeless being housed, the hungry being fed, the naked being clothed. Let’s work to help usher in his kingdom together, because when we do we’ll see his promises fulfilled!
Love remains posted 5 years ago by Pastor Pete
“Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves? Isn’t this the same message the LORD proclaimed through the prophets in years past when Jerusalem and the towns of Judah were bustling with people, and the Negev and the foothills of Judah were well populated?’” Then this message came to Zechariah from the LORD: “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other. - Zechariah 7:5-10

When I read this this morning I got thinking about what God’s calling us to do when he calls us to proclaim the gospel. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day, the ebs and flows of life and forget what we’re really called for. We’re called to serve the Lord. The question we must always be asking ourselves is “what is the Lord requiring of me today?”. This is a passage about a people who had got caught up in their religious activities and forgotten to ask God what he was requiring of them. This may change as seasons change. What God requires of you today will be different from what he will call you to next week, next month, next year. But the important thing is that it’s God’s mission that matters, not ours, what does He require of us? Zachariah reminds us that what he has called us to is love. Love for our neighbours and love for our God. Colossians 3:14 says that above all virtues we should put on love. It’s love that rives us to serve the widows, orphans, foreigners and the poor. It’s love that stops us from scheming against oneanother. Love is the theme that remains through the years as we seek to do what God requires of us. What is God requiring of you today?
Prayer that brings peace and dignity posted 6 years ago by Pastor Pete
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

This passage gives us great instruction in how to pray. It tells us that in order to live peaceful and dignified lives, we must pray. But who do we pray for? We are told that we should pray for all people, for the authorities, for the kings and the governments as well as for ourselves, our communities and the least among us. Notice how we should offer not only our requests to the Lord, but also our thanks. Isn’t that such an important thing to remember. God wants us to pray to him, but always out of heart of thanksgiving. In this week when there are significant changes to the benefit system and in this season of economic difficulty for us as a nation, we should, of course, offer our requests to the Lord, but we should also be thankful for all that he has blessed us with. Let us pray for our government this week. Let us pray for our churches and our communities. And let's pray for the least among us, the lost, the lonely and the homeless. 
God goes further posted 6 years ago by Pastor Pete
Often I feel that we are engaged in a work of creative chaos in the service of the marginalized. When I meet with other sector leaders and people who are volunteering up and down the country, I'm so impacted by how each of us are often only responding individual crises in the moment. It's at times like these that it's so important we remember Jesus words in his sermon on the mount 'seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.' (Matt 6:33) However much we give out to God, to his children, to the poor and to the marginalized, we can never give more than He gives to us. Lets rest in the glorious provision of our father. We know that however much we serve, however many crises we face this week, he's given more, and that gives me the strength to carry on. 
Sermon at Wilmington Christian Fellowship posted 6 years ago by Pastor Pete
I had a fantastic time a fortnight ago when I spoke at Wilmington Christian Fellowship who are new partners. Have a listen to the sermon.
Trusting God when life's hard posted 6 years ago by Pastor Pete
I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
- Habakkuk 3:16-19 

We are in a time of unprecedented uncertainty in our nation. We are still suffering the effects of the 2008 crash and the economy doesn't have the signs of life our politicians have promised. I think in times like these verses like Habakkuk 3:16-19 are such a huge encouragement. Even though we have struggles, we know we can't trust in the things of this world, in the systems of this world: Our trust is the Lord because He alone is reliable. In times like this, its obvious that the systems of the world can't be trusted, but at other times it will be alluring to lean on our own understanding, to trust in the created and not the creator. Today, it's slightly easier, the world's systems our failing and our God is still providing. We will rejoice in the Lord... he makes our feet like the feet of a deer, he enables us to tread on the heights. 
July 2012 Video Update posted 6 years ago by Ollie
Spending time with our Father posted 6 years ago by Pastor Pete
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. - Mark 1:35

Today I want to look at Mark 1. It's a chapter of scripture that's so full of activity with things happening all the time. It's in that context that we hear Mark 1:35 that Jesus rises early in the morning, retreats to the desolate place, and prays.

If you think about it Jesus must have enjoyed the presence of his Father, and in imitating Jesus we need to build in time to enjoy the presence of Jesus. How much do we, in all the business of our lives, take time away, time in the solitary place, time with our father. Some people call it a "quiet time", but it doesn't really matter what you call it, it matters that it happens.

Why is it important to do it on our own? I believe that we are called to do this on our own because personally we need the foundation that comes from time well spent in the presence of God. We know that He gives us the 'peace that passes understanding' and the strength that he gives us in the secret place equips us for the public place. A spiritual foundation for day-to-day life is something that is given to individuals, personally. A group doesn't collectively receive a spiritual foundation.

So today I just want to ask, how much time are you allocating just for personal time with the Lord? Is now the time for a change? 
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