Friday, March 16, 2018

Job Opportunity: HR & Safeguarding Administrator role

Due to people changing roles within the Kerith Staff Team we’ve got a full time job opportunity for somebody to work as an administrator for HR and Safeguarding within Kerith.

You can get more information along with a detailed job description here. If this might be of interest to you, or to someone you know, than please take a look. Otherwise please join me in praying that we find the right person to fufill what is a key role for us as a community.



Friday, March 9, 2018

The day I applauded too

I remember the first time I was on a flight where people applauded when the plane landed. It was going to Poland about 12 years ago, and I must admit that I remember feeling a bit superior about it. Why applaud? What did they expect to happen? Planes take off and planes land, why would anyone think landing was an event worth celebrating when it happens thousands of times a day all around the world. I would never be one of those people who applauded something so mundane.

So it has continued over the years. Lots of flights, lots of applause, but never me.

That was until this Monday. I was on an EasyJet flight into Lisbon. There was a big storm over the city, and as we approached the airport the plane was bouncing around all over the place. I had a window seat, so could see what was happening as we came into land. One moment we were over the runway, the next moment we were off to one side or the other. That was until about 50 feet from the ground, where the pilot decided it wasn’t going to happen and aborted the landing. We rapidly accelerated back up into the air.

Everyone was very calm, but suddenly landing didn’t seem like the formality I’d always assumed it was! We climbed round in a big circle and around 10 minutes later came in to try again. Once again the plane was all over the place, and just before we touched the ground I’m sure the plane was pointing more across the runway than along it. But the pilot executed one of the smoothest landings I’ve ever experienced, and once all the wheels touched the ground everyone applauded. And I applauded too.

One of my daily disciplines is to try to pray what we call the Lord’s Prayer every day. Not in the rote way I did at school where the aim was just to get through it as quickly as possible, but slowly and thoughtfully, pausing over every phrase and even individual words. Almost every time I do it one part of the prayer will particularly resonate with me, and I’ll stop and spend time there. Reflecting, meditating, thanking, talking to God and listening to what he might be saying. Who knew you could have a deep encounter with God simply reflecting on the word “our”!

Well on Tuesday morning I got stuck in the phrase “Give us this day our daily bread”. Such a simple phrase which I must have prayed thousands of times before, yet on Tuesday it took on a whole new significance. Reflecting on all the things in life which I take for granted, but each of which is a miracle of God’s provision to be grateful for, to be applauded. Planes landing, a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, food to eat, water to drink and wash in, my family, my friends. The list goes on and on.

So from now on I’ll be applauding in a fresh way. Applauding the things I take for granted. Grateful, thankful and humbled by the God who day after day pours out a grace I haven’t earned and I don’t deserve. And all of that before I get anywhere near Jesus!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Amazing Daughter

On International Women’s Day I wanted to write a few words about my amazing daughter Alice. 

Catrina and I have got three children, two boys Zach and Jacob, and last but not least our daughter Alice who will be 20 in about 3 weeks time. We’re really proud of all three of them, but today I’d like to write a few words about Alice.

Lots has been written about being a pastors kid (PKs as they get called in the States).

At one level it’s a huge privilege. Getting to see the inner workings of church life, spending time with the amazing people who make up our community, having meals with the different speakers who come to serve us, hopefully seeing that their parents are the same people in private as they are in public. I’ve got very special memories of Alice when she was young getting up early to come with me to the Saturday morning prayer meeting. Taking her to wedding rehearsals where afterwards she’d debrief me on all the things I should have done differently, and how the wedding could be improved. Seeing her make her first time commitment when we visited Hillsong in Australia (never one to miss an occasion!). Leading events, doing spoken words, preaching and playing in the band in our LIFE youth ministry. Running our REAL women’s conference. Going together to Zambia last year to see the girls dormitory and visit Sam and Hannah Fairs-Billam and their children. 

But it can also be tough. Sharing your parents with the rest of the church family. Living in the spotlight of other people’s opinions. The possibility that your peers treat you differently because of what your dad does for a living. Having parents who are very often among the first to get to church and the last to leave. Having a dad who uses you in sermon illustrations!

All that to say that I’m hugely proud of the woman Alice is becoming. She’s taken a very different path to her brothers, both of whom went to University. Instead she decided to leave school half way through her A Levels (despite our advice and encouragement to see them through!) and has set up her own business where, in her own words “I’m a digital marketing coach, empowering entrepreneurs to create and implement an effective strategy behind their online presence”. Basically she helps companies use things like blogs, twitter and facebook to tell people about what they do! Please read more about it here.

She has also recently started doing her own podcast, interviewing female entrepreneurs from around the world. She’s often in our living room with a “do not disturb sign” on the door as she interviews an amazing woman in some distant city or country!

And above all that she loves Jesus and is actively involved in the local church. What more could a dad ask for!

Alice please know how proud I am of you, and how much I love you. It’s a privilege to be your dad, and to call you my daughter. Know that you’re never to be defined by what you do or what others think of you, but by how God sees you and his never ending love for you. And know that to me, and to God, you are an amazing world changer!