Today, April 23rd is St Georges Day here, when we (ok, some) fly the Flag of St George’s and celebrate this patron Saint of England who slew the dragon… st-george-cross-england-flag-8ft-x-5ft-373-p

St George’s story is part fact part fiction. He was a real person in history, martyred in 303AD for his Christian faith, but of course the dragon slaying thing is a myth… It’s also seriously doubted whether this patron Saint of England actually ever set foot on England… In fact, I found him in Prague in the Czech Republic a few years ago! – and took this picture here on the right below:

This makes me think of another red cross: The wooden one on which DSCF2255Jesus Christ died about 2000 years ago. It’s historical fact that He lived and died, and there’s massive evidence that He rose from the dead after slaying the real dragon – the Devil – on the cross. Fact or Fiction? What have you decided? As for me, every day is Jesus day…

The Bible, 1 John 3 verse 8: The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

 

It’s late on the evening of Good Friday, that day we Christians remember the death and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus was crucified and buried on “preparation day” which is the day before the sabbath. In Luke 23v56  we read about the women who had observed closely all that had happened on that day, and then the Bible says: “Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.”

While everything seemed over, THEY RESTED on the next day, waiting for the promise of the resurrection to be fulfilled.

If your life season right now seems to be in the dark between death/burial and resurrection, I want to encourage you today to enter the rest of Jesus, because His promises are sure, and signed off guaranteed by His resurrection from the dead. Here’s a 2 minute video message with my thoughts on this…

This past weekend Al & I were privileged to visit our Every Nation church plant in Gent, Belgium. Our leaders Trevor & Yvette Botha are doing a brilliant job and a flourishing church is being established with already around 120 adults attending every Sunday.  We heard stories from many people how their lives have been impacted, and there is a real sense that God is doing something unique in this strategic city.  Thank you to all who support  our churches and work in Europe – this is some of the Kingdom fruit of the mission we are on together!  Here are a few photo’s from Gent, and below that a 1.5 minute video chat with Trevor…

MAKING DISCIPLES. MAKING A DIFFERENCE

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This is the APRIL Update emailed out to our Hammersmith congregation this week. For other congregation calendars see here.

HAMMERSMITH CONGREGATION APRIL UPDATE

Spring is (nearly) in the air, and we have many reasons to be encouraged by much of what’s happening in church life. I do trust that you too will personally experience God’s love and life in this season in a fresh new way.

MARCH FEEDBACK

We had a truly super Super Sunday with all our congregations together.

There's something powerful when we worship together!

There’s something powerful when we worship together!

We prayed over our new Belfast church plant leaders, and to date we have raised over £3,000 for the A21 campaign!  We also sent out our Marseille mission team who are there this week and we are hearing some great reports from them. On the local front, the mum’s & daughters tea party was also a huge success with over 50 moms attending in a local community hall. We are also hearing some very encouraging testimonies from our Connect Groups (There’s one for you too!)

Coming up in April:

SUNDAYS:  This Sunday we launch a 4 week preaching series called “Re-DIGGing the wells”– which follows the Super Sunday message (Watch here if you missed it) on the 4 areas we believe are critical for us to guard in order to experience the fullness of God in this season. Don’t come expecting the ordinary this week!

 Other events:

  • Sun 6 – Boat Race Barbeque, 4.30pm – details announced this Sunday.
  • Mon 7 – “Dynamic Discipleship” teaching night – a great opportunity to get a full dose on discipleship in one evening!
  • Wed 9 – Prayer Evening for the A21 Campaign, 7pm at the office
  • Sat 12 – We present an Easter Community event in Normand Park. 2-4pm
  • Fri 18 – Churches Together Easter Friday outreach service in Kings Mall, meet 11am at St Paul’s Hammersmith.
  • Sat 26 – ENjoy social hike! Details here.
  • Sat 26 – Part 2 of the Marriage Preparation Course (11 couples attending!)
  • Mon 28 – Bible Teaching Nights start with “Jesus in Genesis” – definitely a must-do subject! All welcome.

And coming up in May:

  • Sun 4 – Special guest speaker, pastor Russ Austin
  • Fri 9- Sun 11 – Belfast Church Plant Prayer mission
  • Sat 17 – “The Gift of Prophecy” seminar & ministry, by pastor Jim Critcher, 09.30 – 12.30
  • 20-23 – Europe Leadership Summit, Krakow. Details here

Finally, a reminder of the WHY we do what we do, from the Super Sunday message:

“We make disciples and we make a difference because we have a vision to change the world to the glory of Jesus, because we believe that only changed people will change their world. On campus, in community, and in the nations through church planting.”

Thank you for sharing this God-adventure with us through your prayers, involvement and generous giving. Again I pray that you would Re-DIGG any wells that the enemy has closed up in your life, and that you would experience more of the fullness of all that is yours in Christ in this next season.

Rich blessings, Wolfi, Ali & the gang and Every Nation

Our mision banner

 

 

Read this verse:  “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, AND KISSED HIM. Luke 15:20 (NLT) Read full story here.

 

God IS love.  The Good News (Gospel) starts with with God, and specifically Gods love. If your gospel understanding starts with you, and even your sin, (or as we generally think, OTHER peoples sins!), it will inevitably lead to you trying to do something to earn the Father’s acceptance. However you share the Gospel, or understand it, please don’t forget this part:

  • …God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  - 1 John 4v8b-9
  • For God so loved the world that He gave… – John 3v16
  • We love Him because He first loved us.- 1 John 4v19
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5v8
  • But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favour and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). – Ephesians 2:4-5 Amplified Bible

This is ridiculous, undeserved, amazing grace! Don’t be afraid of receiving it, nor of making it central to the Gospel you share with your world.  This love doesn’t lead to a license to sin. This love changes us. This grace transforms. Once you’ve experienced the Father’s kiss, there’s no one else and nothing you’ll love more…