Quo Vadis (Where are the Churches Going?)

I would like to share with you my latest video entitled Quo Vadis? (Where are the churches going to?)  which I have just uploaded.

I warmly invite you to take a look by going to:-

https://youtu.be/J2Br9-Zy2Ts

God Bless

Geoffrey

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Of Mice and Committees

A group of mice once formed a committee to consider the menace of the local cat.

After a good deal of discussion which led nowhere, one of the mice announced that he had a positive suggestion to make which he thought would solve the problem.

If a bell were to be hung around the cat’s neck, the mice would be given warning of his approach and would have time to run away to safety.

Amid squeaks of approval he formally put the resolution that such a bell should be secured and placed around the cat’s neck. The resolution was enthusiastically seconded and passed unanimously.

All the mice were delighted that the matter had been settled so satisfactorily and the chairman was about to close the meeting when a very old mouse who had appeared to sleep throughout the proceedings opened one eye, twitched a whisker and asked, “But who is going to change the bell?”

Then there was silence whilst the mice looked in dismay at one another. Everyone had taken it for granted that someone else would hang the bell around the cat’s neck!

The timidity of the mice is understandable, but are committees of human beings any better?

What is a committee? Well, it ought to be a group of people who are committed to not only talking but also to doing. Those who do not want to commit themselves should not volunteer to be on committees.

But, so very often, committees end where they began – doing nothing but talking – with only a vague hope that someone else is going to do something.

One school of thought tends to suggest that committees are created not actually to get things done but to evade – or, at least, postpone – some drastic action from which we shrink.

Jesus was always stressing that action is the test of our faith.

It is doing the will of our Heavenly Father that is the badge of citizenship of the Kingdom of God.

As Jesus says, “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and do it”. (Luke 11: 28)

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?

 I asked various well known people to share with me their favourite Bible verse and any memories with which they associated their chosen verse.

And 120+ people in the ‘Public Eye’ have very kindly sent me their favourite Bible verse, which has led to the creation of this special book,

“What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?”    
Contributors include:-   
Lord David Alton
Lord Jeffrey Archer
Baroness Joan Bakewell
17 Bishops
Gyles Brandreth
Alun Cairns, MP (Secretary of State for Wales)
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, MP
Chris Grayling MP
Lord Leslie Griffiths
Lord Michael Howard
Carwyn Jones (First Minister of the Welsh Assembly)
Lord Neil Kinnock
Adrian Masters (Political Editor for ITV Wales)
Lord David Owen
Rev Gareth Powell (Secretary of the Methodist Conference)
Lord David Steel
Hannah Thomas
Rev Steven Wild (President of the Methodist Conference (2015/16)
Rev Roger Walton (President of the Methodist Conference 2016/17             
Plus many other well known people.
Many of the memories and insights are amazing.
For further information and to order your copy of “What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?” please go to:-
Profits from this unique book will go towards the much needed repairs of Clydach Methodist Church (near to Abergavenny).
With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey

Back To Front

Back to Front
The Preacher gazed upon his flock
And saw with something of a shock,
The rearmost pews were packed jam tight
but in the front, few souls in sight.
He pondered long when they were gone,
the cause of this phenomenon.
”Is there anything that I
can do to draw the people nigh?”
Can it be that Holy writ
has caused them at the rear to sit?
Than risk eviction in disgrace,
by sitting in too high a place.
And with these humble thoughts in mind,
they’re rooted to the pews behind,
hoping to achieve by this,
the welcome warmth of gregarious bliss.
Or were my strictures so severe,
they really didn’t want to hear!
Perhaps I, on the other hand,
should make my discourse rather bland.
In this house, it is not meet
to occupy a rearmost seat,
with drooping eyes, in sleep far gone,
whilst the sermon rumbles on.
Could we create some sort of slide
down which the worshippers would glide;
from sitting in the rearmost pew,
would be smartly whisked within my view.
If every other means should fail,
would sandwiches and light brown ale,
tempt them from their cosy perch,
and draw them to the front of church?
Don’t drive the Preacher to despair,
but hearken to his fervent prayer,
”To me in fellowship draw near,
the true and living Word to hear.”
(Hubert Eaton)
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With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey

Woe to those who call evil good!

This interesting prayer was given in Kansas, USA, at the opening session of their Senate.

It seems prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says: “Woe to those who call evil good”, but that is exactly what we have done.

* We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
* We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.
* We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
* We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
* We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
* We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
* We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
* We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
* We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
* We have abused power and called it politics.
* We have embezzled public funds and called it essential expenses.
* We have insitutionalised bribery and called it sweets of office.
* We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
*We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
* We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh GOD, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Amen!”

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.

In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.

The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.

The Rosebud

A new minister was walking with an older, more seasoned minister in the garden one day.

Feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was asking the older preacher for some advice.

The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any of the petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his
wanting to know the will of God for his life and ministry.


But, because of his great respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact. It wasn’t long before he realized how impossible this was to do.


Noticing the younger preacher’s inability to unfold the rosebud, without tearing it, the older preacher began to recite the following poem…


It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.


The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so easily,
But in my hands they die.


If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God’s design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?


So, I’ll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance
In each step along the way.


The path that lies before me,
Only my Lord and Savior knows.
I’ll trust God to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

My Walk With God – Rev Rick Ormrod

(Rick is a Methodist Minister of the Bramhope, Timble, Pool and Norwood Methodist Churches in the Wharfedale and Aireborough Methodist Circuit)

I’m one of those very fortunate people who was not only brought up as a Christian, but also brought up as a Methodist.

One if my earliest memories is of sitting with my mum in what then seemed to be the huge pews at Poulton Le Fylde Methodist Church and thinking what a nice man the Minister (not Presbyter in those days), Rev John Harris, was!

A second memory comes from around the time I was nine and the Minister, then Rev J. Gordon Sutcliffe, asked us all what we wanted to be when we grew up!  I decided I’d quite like to be a Minister because they only work one day a week, little knowing that was what I’d become!

My time in the Sunday School and Youth Group gave me a good grounding in the Bible, but I never really came to understand that Christianity was about a personal relationship with Jesus.

That changed aged 21 when I went with a church youth group to the Hollybush Christian Fellowship Youth Camp in the Yorkshire a Dales.  At the Saturday evening service the speaker was Roy Crowne and he spoke of the love of Jesus and of the personal relationship he wants us all to have with him.

When the altar call same I was one of the first to stand up!  John Wesley wrote that his heart was “strangely warmed”.  I felt more like my heart had been courteously dynamited with the love of Jesus and I gave my life to him!

Interestingly, prior to what I still think of as my “conversion experience”, I had already felt that God might be calling me to full time ordained ministry, but had pushed it to one side.  Interesting that God first called me before I gave my life to him.

After Hollybush I started to read Christian literature voraciously.  The books I was reading were largely from the evangelical end of the theological spectrum, books by God inspired men like David Watson, David Wilkerson and Michael Green.

Together with Bible study they helped to build the foundations of my Christian faith.

My marriage to Susan and the birth of our daughter Alice a few years later distracted me for a while from a growing conviction that God was calling me to become a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church.

I knew, in truth, that it was just the first step of a call to ordained ministry, and that was a step too far for me.  So, I busied myself with other church roles, becoming a Sunday School Teacher and Church Steward.

Eventually I came to realise that these were things I was doing to avoid God’s clear call on my life, and that if I really meant the words of the Covenant Prayer then I’d better stop denying God’s call on my life and, instead, embrace it.

I offered to go ‘on note’ as a Local Preacher and soon found myself ‘on trial’ and deep in the Faith & Worship course, which I loved because it opened me up to a much wider range of theological perspectives.

Very soon my Local Preacher Tutor was challenging me about a call to ordained ministry and after several confirmations from God I offered myself as a candidate for ore-ordination training and was accepted by the Methodist Church in 2010.

I was fortunate enough to experience two wonderful years theological training and formation at Wesley Study Centre in Durham where my theological knowledge and understanding expanded still further and where my walk with Jesus both deepened and broadened as it never had before.

I finished my two years with an absolute and complete conviction of the reality of Jesus Christ as fully human and fully divine and the understanding that no one branch of theology, whether it be conservative, evangelical, liberal or progressive, provides all the answers.

I have just come to the end of my period as a Probationer Presbyter in the Wharfedale & Aireborough Circuit.  It has been a period of my life that has been both challenging and exhilarating and that has confirmed for me that God has indeed called me to give the rest of my life as a Methodist Presbyter.

In my walk with Jesus I cannot imagine myself ever doing anything else.

On Sunday 29th June 2014 I was ordained at Coventry Central Hall as a Presbyter in God’s church.  The Holy Spirit came upon me in a very powerful way and, as a result, I’ll never be the same again.

Quite how I’ve changed I still need to discover!

Up until now my walk with Jesus has been largely, though not exclusively, about my journey to ordination.

I can’t wait to see where my walk with Jesus will take me now!

(Rev Rick Ormrod)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey