Thursday, January 29, 2009

Flow Reflections Parts 1 & 2

As promised, here are the first of my blogs on 'Flow', my church's 'mission into your own life'. They are video reflections on my experiences during the first few weeks on the mission.

They're filmed on my mobile as I experienced them, so they are quite raw and authentic. 

There are two shown below, and there will be a further two coming very soon, and some more as the mission goes on. I hope that they will be a testament to what God is doing now and will be encouraging for you all. 

Watch, enjoy and be blessed!


Hope you enjoyed them both. 

Coming soon...'Flow Reflections' Parts 3 & 4.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming in 2009

A new year, a new look.

Slight change to the look and feel of the site this year, and hopefully with it more of a focus to the site. My 'Evolving Church' site is developing and taking more of my time, but this is still important. 

I hope that this year I'll be able to look at some key issues facing Christians today and take them head on. On my 'Evolving Church' site I'm going to be looking at several key issues the Church is facing today, in particular the topic of identity and how important it is to the growth of church.

Here I will be discussing issues like that but more in relation to individual growth rather than its overall impact. I will also be posting some videos here as well, and my 'Flow Reflections' are going to take the form of a video blog (quite raw and unpolished, for authenticity) which will be starting very soon.

Keep reading, its going to be a challenging and interesting year here on my blog.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nooma 'Dust' - What it means

Many of you who know me and have read my blogs know how big a fan I am of Rob Bell, his teaching, books and DVD's.

On one of the DVD's, 'Dust', he talks about God's faith in us and belief in us to follow Him. He uses the story of Peter walking on water, and says that one of the reasons he sinks is becuase he loses faith in himself.

Now this goes against the traditional view of this verse. Many people have attacked Rob Bell for this, but I think I know what he's getting at.

He's not saying that Peter thinks he can do things by himself.

He's not saying that Peter loses confidence in himself and his own abilities.

He is saying he loses faith in His ability to be like Jesus. His ability to become like Jesus and do the things Jesus does. He loses faith in his own value through God.

Jesus calls Peter out, He believes in Peter, and that through the power of God he can do what Jesus himself is doing. Peter keeps his eyes on Jesus, and keeps faith in His ability to do what He does, and has faith in what Jesus has spoken to him to do.

Then Peter doubts. He doubts whether he's truly capable of following his masters footsteps. He's lost faith that he could ever do the things Jesus does, so he takes his eyes off Jesus.

So in fact, both meanings are correct.

Peter loses faith in Jesus, and he loses faith in himself - in his own ability to be like Jesus, to follow Him and do His will.

Jesus does believe in us. He believes that if we follow Him and put Him at the centre of our lives, order our lives around Him then through the power of the Spirit we can become like Him.

Not perfect of course. But as close as is humanly possible.

Jesus entrusted the spreading and building of the kingdom of God to His followers. He beleived in them, that if they were obedient to God and put Him at the centre, and allowed Him to work through them, that they were capable of "even greater things" (his own words).

Rob Bell doesn't for one minute suggest that we can do things for God in our own strength. He doesn't ever say that. What he does say is that Jesus and God beleive and have faith in us to put Him at the centre, and through His power do the things He wants us to do, which are beyond the abilities we would have without Him.

That's what Rob Bell says when he says Jesus has faith in us. He sees who we really are and what we're capable of if we put God at the centre, and wants us to see it too. Then we really put Jesus at the centre of our lives, and we end up doing things by His power and in His name that we never thought we could do, but Jesus always knew we could by His power.

If we lose confidence we can do what God has called us to, if we lose faith and trust in Jesus and take our eyes off Him, if we doubt what He has spoken about us and to us, and we doubt His ability to enable us to do anything He calls us to, then we may fall down. We might get set back.

Indeed, we probably do sometimes.

But that's where Jesus comes in and saves us, and sets us back on the road we were on, and we are stronger for the experience.

Jesus has faith in who we were made to be in His strength. God beleives in the person we can be through faith in Him.

That's what Rob Bell means, and that's a great source of encouragment.

Through faith in Jesus and believing in His call on our lives and in who He made us to be, by His power and in His strength there's nothing we're not capable of.

Friday, January 09, 2009

'Flow' Reflections: Never forget

On Wednesday I started a mission with my church called 'Flow', essentially a mission into my own life and re-ordering it around God.

As such, it is my hope that in the next few weeks I will achieve a deeper intimacy with God and will hear from Him in different ways, as such a lot of my posts will be categorised 'Flow Reflections' both for your and my benefit.

This is the first of these.

One dimension of 'Flow' is daily prayers, and as part of this I set reminders on my outlook calendar at work to remind me to pray every hour. At first I was very conscious of this and thinking about it all the time. But eventually I got carried away with my work, and was busy working and talking to people when suddenly, out of the blue, this reminder popped up on my computer, reminding me to pray.

It took me by surprise, because somehow in the busyness of the day I had totally forgotten about my prayers, totally forgot about God.

It brought home to me how easy it can be to get so carried away by the busyness of everyday life that we can simply forget to pray at all, and forget about God completely.

That's a lesson for us all I think, though I think many of us already know this experience.

The whole idea of this mission is to instead put God first and make everything else revolve around and involve Him. I've set my reminders to keep on doing this each hour every day, even after the mission had ended.

I hope that by the time the mission is over I will actually be looking forward to the little 30 second - 1 minute break every hour to remember God, and that my work will start to revolve around that, and around God.

It also occurred to me how we can also get so caught up with doing church-related things, that we forget why we do them in the first place. So busy helping, serving, setting things up and doing things that we start to forget why we're there and who we're doing it for.

That is something as Christians we should beware of.

When we serve, let it be an act of service to Jesus, not just something we do to be helpful or friendly.

In the busyness of life, we need Jesus just to get us through and keep us going, and we need to be kept reminded of what's really important.

Lets not forget about Him.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009: Challenges, goals and a real hope for us all

So a new year is upon us, and I thought it right that both in terms of my personal growth and also the development of this site there are some thoughts I should share.

1)'James Prescott' in 2009

This site will continue to exist, for sure. I will continue to be posting my thoughts and reflections on everyday life within today's culture, as Jesus speaks to me about how to live the Christian life through the things I encounter within my own cultural context, church and Bible study, and I will still be posting those reflections here, though probably not as many as 2008 because of my other site (see below).

2) Evolving Church in 2009

In terms of my other site, , the plan really is to continue developing my ideas about church. That site will be where I post my visions, thoughts and reflections on what church is and how it needs to evolve, adapt, grow and re-define itself for today's world while keeping Jesus at the centre. I'd encourage all of you to regularly check that site as well, as I will be posting there regularly.

I hope to visit some churches this year of many different types, and hopefully around autumn time I'll be writing a piece (probably in two or three parts) with my reflections and conclusions from these visits. I may report on individual visits if something really stands out, but the real benefits of these visits will come out in this series. I also hope to keep posting here my thoughts, vision and reflections on what God wants of church in this coming generation, what church is and isn't and how we can move forward and evolve as a church both locally, nationally and internationally.


I'm doing a church mission called 'Flow'. Essentially this is a mission into my own life and re-ordering my everyday life around Jesus, with daily prayers and bible study, giving, serving and discovering more about myself. I hope to use this to hear more clearly what God is speaking to me about, more about church and also to get into good spiritual disciplines I can continue with after the mission has finished. For me its the perfect way to start the new year, and it begins this Wednesday (7th January) for 40 days.

4)A more disciplined life

The real area I am being challenged and need to grow in this year is my self-discipline, and getting into good disciplined habits. This covers the area of my diet, health and personal fitness, as well as Bible study, prayer and general reading. These are areas God really is challenging me about and I hope to tackle these this year, and have already set some goals in these areas. Living a more disciplined life around the values of Jesus is a key part of anyone's spiritual development and growth to become more like Jesus, and in particular as a leader I feel responsible to get these areas of my life re-ordered this year and develop good habits which will hopefully stand me in good stead for the future and give me a deeper perspective in terms of envisioning and realising the vision of an evolving church.

These are the challenges that face me this year and areas I hope to grow this year. We are all on a journey with God, and this is I think the journey Jesus has for me - and this site - this year. I would appreciate all your prayers and I hope simply the act of writing them down makes them real for me, and will allow me to keep hoping and believing when I'm feeling weak and not up to the challenge.

People may seem to be very despondent in the current climate, and those issues are very real and need to be faced and acknowledged. But life is like that. We face problems and challenges all the time.

There is a very real God who is always with us and equips us with all we need, and gives us strength to persevere. A God on whom we can depend on, who loves us and accepts us as we are, who shows us a better way to live and a new kind of culture to live by.

A God who gives us hope.

As I, this site and all of you enter this year, let us do so acknowledging the challenges ahead, but positive that with the help of our Saviour anything is possible.

Have a great year.