Something has been going on in the Leeds Vineyard for the last few months. Alison describes it as a currency exchange: we are learning to swap the currency of cash for the currency of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 55:1 reminds us that food and drink for our soul is available at no cost.
Last Sunday I did our annual review of the church’s finances (Pie Chart Sunday
). You can read it or listen to it on the website. There is a boring “recovery” story about getting our finances on track but there is also an exciting, risk-taking story about getting on with kingdom business at no cost. I challenged you to do what costs no money but does need the power and presence of the Holy Spirit:
Risk the inner journey;
Risk sharing your story;
Risk praying for someone who is sick;
Risk inviting a seeker to church.
Do these things and you will grow – and so will the church.
The week before I taught from Psalm 84
and invited you to think about where you are making your spiritual home and I asked what sort of condition it was in. Podcast here.
Next Sunday we are really glad to welcome our old friend Steve Barber as our visiting speaker. Steve came from SW London Vineyard too (that’s where Alison and I were) and (with his wife Juliet) has planted churches in Southend and Leicester. He is also our Regional Overseer, the Church Planting coordinator for the Vineyard in the UK and is part of the Leadership Group of Vineyard Churches.
Over the course of the last few months we have felt the Lord guide us to make quite a few significant changes. We will be announcing these and praying through it all at the Bunker on 29 June
Between now and then we have Healing on the Streets (14th
), Picnic in the Park (15th
), Discovering Vineyard (28th
), Baptism (29th
Alison and I and the family are currently grieving the loss of our dear niece, Naomi. She died last Wednesday, at the age of 26, after a three year struggle with a brain tumour. It’s incredibly sad – most particularly for my brother and his family of course. And yet she was a young woman with a strong faith in Jesus and in this we rejoice. It is difficult to know what to do and say to someone who has just suffered loss – but it is better to acknowledge it and come and talk to us than to ignore the subject! The funeral is on Friday so bear with us in the coming days.
In other news … Alison is busy painting fantastic art and I am preparing to go on a Mission Direct trip in the summer (you can support me here
). If you like art and live music and are willing to donate at least £30, please buy a ticket for my Art & Music for Kenya evening
On Saturday I am speaking at the York and Hull Vineyards’ Men’s weekend on Gold, Girls and Glory … should be fun.
I’ve just discovered (and love) the latest album from MercyMe – Welcome to the Now. They’re not a worship band as such but sing some great songs. I particularly like “Flawless” about God’s mercy and grace and also “Dear Younger Me” which is a song to the singer’s younger self, “if I could tell you everything I have learnt so far then you could be one step ahead of all the painful memories running through my head”. Here’s the Spotify link.