The nice Rev. Smallbone and the Demolition Derby 

Ilkley bridgeYou know someone is taking their faith seriously when they choose to get into 15 degree water, in public, and go all the way under! It’s called baptism and, like participation in communion and giving money, it’s a symbol of someone’s commitment to Jesus Christ.
We offered Tim and Sarah Green a warmer date for their baptism (the next one is on 29 June) but they chose this coming Sunday. It’s going to be a great day starting with weekly worship - where we will hear their testimony and have the joy of dedicating their daughter Emily - and then a picnic beside the river Wharfe in Ilkley during which we will witness Tim and Sarah’s baptism – in the river.
So do join us for a festive day and bring a picnic! More information here.
If you want to get serious too then let your housegroup leader or me know and we can talk about your baptism!
Alpha Mark-Red1Med-03 CROPPEDOn the other hand, if you would like to explore what it means to follow Jesus and find out more about who he is (or if you have a friend who would like to) sign up to our next Alpha Course which starts on Monday 12 May at Costa Coffee in Headingley.
This is a low-key, any-question-is-ok way of finding out more. And you get a free beverage. There’s a short film and then discussion. That’s it. No pressure and no other agenda.
If you are a regular at Leeds Vineyard I would love you to ask God, “Who would you like me to invite to Alpha?” And then, if he brings someone to mind, take your courage in both hands, clear out your own diary and ask them if they would like to go with you. Don’t say no for them, who knows, if the Holy Spirit has brought them to your mind, maybe he has been speaking to them too? They don’t have to go back if they don’t like it, but maybe they will, maybe they’ll love it, and maybe they’ll be really grateful one day that you had the courage to invite them because their life has changed?
b for bunker cropThe Bunker is still happening. Every Sunday evening for an hour at 7.30pm (please don’t be late as we have to lock the door!). Last Sunday we prayed for the North, South, East and West of Leeds. This Sunday we’ll worship and wait on God to speak to us.
Although the Bunker is usually simply that: worship, prayer, silence, waiting – on 29 June we will have been meeting in the Bunker for 6 months and I plan to share with you our “conclusions” on what we think the Lord has been saying to us since January. I know that many of us have been going through a “consecration” of some sort, as has the church. I think we may be coming out the other side by the time we get to June29. We’ll review where we have got to and what we think is going to come next! So you may like to make arrangements to be there.
revHave you been watching Rev? What a great show. Very funny, increasingly gritty and relevant. We’re all waiting to see if Rev & Mrs agree to get baby baptized. But if you are looking for a balanced negotiation of contentious issues - you won’t get it. If you want to see the portrayal of a community of faith where God is manifestly at his transformative work - look elsewhere. But the tripartite tests of money, sex and power are given a comic and yet genuine treatment in the hands of a likeable if underpowered vicar.
Although Rev is great entertainment, because it tries to show God’s man dealing with life it misses the mark - because the secular scriptwriters don’t allow/understand/believe-in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Watching Adam I imagine him riding a moped in a demolition derby. Underpowered, underprotected. But that’s the point of the gospel – it’s God’s power, the power that raised Jesus from the dead, that is made available to us. He brings transformation and healing and redemption. We can’t do that - even if (like Rev Smallbone) we are quite nice and behave quite well most of the time and occasionally pluck up the courage to do the right thing. Thank goodness God loves us enough to rescue us from the demolition derby.
Here’s an interesting take on Rev. in the Guardian penned by James Mumford. 
David Flowers, 29/04/2014
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