Sunday, February 12, 2012

Working on websites

I have been meaning to get around to creating a church website for some time but
procrastination ruled. I couldn't really see the end result so didn't really have an inclination to work through to a conclusion.

Last September I was in Cape Town for the annual Summit of the Harvester Churches and as well as taking away lots of new material each church leader was given a 'Church Plant Pack'. Apostle Aje Pelser had advised us that if we brought a pen drive to the Summit we could have a copy of the files the pack contained.

When I got home I noticed a folder called 'Corporate Identity'. As I looked through the items I found that I had enough graphic material to start work on the website giving it a look and feel of being a church related to the Harvester family.

I began to do the work just before Christmas but time and events meant I didn't really get time to look at it again until the end of January. As I began to understand how it could look now I have the right graphics I gained heart and pushed through the technical obstacles until I had something I felt could be published on-line. It has been live now for a few weeks and already has evolved.

I was so inspired by the final result that I travelled to the Halifax Church with my son Ben who had helped me with the initial project and we made a 'website in a day' with them.

There is a scripture in Hebrews 12:2 that says: -

"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God"

We all need something to inspire us to complete things. Jesus was inspired to do the will of His Father and saw things through to the end.

Someone once said it is not how you start a race that matters but how you finish. Become a finisher in life. Run the race well. Endure hardship and push through to the prize.

For the believer the reward is everlasting life. It starts the moment you enter into Christ by faith.

New Harvester Reformational Church Birmingham website can be found at: -

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year Baptism

It was a privilege to be present at the baptism of Wang Hui (English name Dinah) who was converted to Christ at the 11AM Sunday service on 23rd October 2011.

Dinah is from China and is a student at Aston University where she met one of our church members who invited her to church. Read the full story in the latest Reformer. Just e-mail for a copy.

She was interviewed prior to her baptism and here is the transcription:-
Mary: Dinah, can you tell us a bit about where you’re from and what you do?
Dinah: I’m Dinah and I’m from China. I’m an exchange student at Aston University.
M: Did you hear about Jesus before you came to England?
D: Yes I heard about Jesus because one of my aunts is a Christian so when I was 9 or 10 years old I went to church with her. But at that time I did not know the real meaning behind it. I just knew there was choir and...but I did not know the real meaning of believing in Christ Jesus.
M: How often did you go to that church?
D: I just went there twice.
M: Is your aunt Chinese?
D: Yes, she’s Chinese.
M: How did you come to believe in Jesus?
D: Really amazing! I went to a lecture and I met Mary there. I know that Christianity is the prevailing belief in the Western World because I know that people are guided by their belief and have got their way of doing things so I am really curious about it and so I want to know more about it so I followed Mary to the church Household and see Ben and Annie and Mary and they are dancing in worship. I want to be part of the body so I just want to establish my relationship with God. So I prayed with Graham and then I confessed that Jesus is my Lord.
M: How has God helped you?
D: It’s not easy to be alone and to go abroad, sometimes I just feel homesick. I think I’ve gone through a culture shock! I think everybody is hostile and English people are really cold! God made Mary and I meet and God gave me a family – Graham and Annie are my father and mother and I have Ben, Mary and Katie are my sisters and brother.
God helps me with my studying, in my life, and I know that God will never forsake me, He will guide me and help me.
M: Why do you want to be baptised?
D: Because Jesus said ‘Believe and be baptised’ and I just want to obey His words and commands.
M: Thank you, Dinah. It’s such a blessing to be a part of your story.

Her baptism video:-

Monday, January 09, 2012

International Christmas

I am not a great fan of the way most people celebrate Christmas. It often is to do with an excess of spending and indulging and bears little resemblance to a Christian celebration. Over the years as a family we decided to stop giving presents and see it as a time to celebrate each other and spend the time together enjoying that.

This year was very special. Our daughter Jenny is now living in South Africa with her husband Louwrens and is expecting her first child due any time now. It was sad not to have her here but God made up for that with an international set of guests.

We had three nationalities staying with us over the holidays. Mary lives with us permanently and is from Lebanon. She has become a daughter in our home integrating well with the rest of us. Dinah is a student at Aston University and the newest convert in our church. She is from China and is studying in the UK with a view to doing a Masters degree. Werner was also a temporary guest visiting from the Harvester Church in Cape Town. He was here to see his girlfriend Katie, a church member, and do some work in the Church.

I cooked breakfast for us all Christmas morning. It felt so right to have all of us together. It reminded me of the unity that comes from belonging to Christ and the fact that there is no national barrier between God's people. We are one in Christ.

We held the Christmas Day service in our home which continued this sense of family. It was special to worship and pray with each other. Tears were shed and bonds were strengthened.

I think I have now discovered how to celebrate Christmas. Make it a celebration of the family of God and the wonder of His Body.

So next year who knows who will be with us.