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One Year of Remission!

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Whew! I'm only 5 days late - good!

Where has the time gone?

I have't blogged in four months. Life has picked up pace dramatically. I am back to juggling teaching, family and church as well as fitting in some external ministry along the way (watch out for future blogs about this). So its not surprising really that I almost missed my first year anniversary of being declared 'in remission'.

It was exactly one year ago on 1st November when my consultant told me that there were no more cancer cells in my body. Praise God!

Recovery has been an interesting journey too. I certainly didn't think it would be like this. I thought the doctors would say 'everything's OK' than I'd take a few weeks, maybe a month to get back on my feet and then life would return to normal and we would carry on from there.

My physical recovery has taken a long time. I think only now am I reaching the stage I was at physically before being ill. My stamina in particular has taken a …

All Things New - Launch

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At the end of October the All Things New project was officially launched. After years of work on creating a CD and writing a book around the theme of salvation, All Things New has been released.

An intimate space was created in the Queen Mary Centre in Wisbech where Matt McChlery and band played songs from the recording. These were interspersed with interviews with some of the people whose testimonies feature in the book 'All Things New: Stories of Transformed Lives'.

What became clear at the event is the huge evangelical and outreach potential a simple evening like this has. It could take place in a larger venue as well as in a lounge. Songs celebrating faith and salvation mixed in with stories of how and why people came to meet Jesus and accept Him as saviour is a powerful combination that touches lives with the grace and power of God.

If you or your church would like to host an All Things New evangelistic / outreach event with Matt McChlery, please get in touch via the …

Telling my Story of Faith and Cancer

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At the start of October I was invited to Rochdale by Branches Christian Fellowship.

On the Saturday night I had the privilege of  singing and telling my story about Faith and Cancer and all that God has done and taught me through my experiences. This was at an outreach event, so it was great to see some of the people from the community who came along to that return on the Sunday morning to hear me speak again.

Sunday morning I had been invited to preach. I spoke on 'Embracing Hardship' and that it it through the trial that we gain the victory. Again, people were touched and I praise God that He is able to use me and my story to speak and to help others.

Thanks for having me. I had a great time!

I believe God has asked me to write a book about my journey through cancer and to explain all the things He taught me. This book is still in it's early stages of research and development, but I am still more than happy to come and speak or sing (or both) even without the book. If y…

How Does it Fit Together?

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I have recently been on holiday to France. I am not one who usually likes making puzzles but on this occasion I joined in.

It got me thinking about how an organisation (or in my case a church / ministry) fits together and how obvious or mysterious we make this to those we serve.

Function Firstly I want to consider how my church functions. Is it clear who is I charge and in what ways things are done? If I have a problem who do I speak to? If there is a question, who do I ask? Who is responsible for booking the hall or arranging for the key to be collected?

This also includes a lot of behind-the-scenes leadership elements such as policies, rotas etc. The cogs that fit and work together to help the whole organism work and function.

It might be helpful to create a flow chart that clearly shows who is in charge of what - a visual representation of how the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together and relate to one another.

Task Descriptions for volunteers or Job Descriptions for employee…

The Illusion of Control

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A couple of days ago I was researching non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer) online on the Lymphoma Association UK website. I read things I already knew such as  - the type of lymphoma I have can not be cured; it will come back again and it will be treated again; people with this type of lymphoma are very likely to live for many years (although supposed to be reassuring this statement did not fill me with much joy! I want to live a good, long life!).

Since being told I was in remission and the chemotherapy coming to an end after six cycles, life has begun to return to normal. I feel well - no longer nauseous or weak or terribly fatigued. No longer feeling out of my depth and completely out of control. No longer blogging about the most recent setback or hospitalisation. I have started to do the things I did before I was diagnosed. I have now returned to work full time. Ministry opportunities are opening up and I am travelling around the UK about once a month to either sing or to speak (…

Leading Well Behind the Scenes

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A Well-Oiled Machine? You may have heard the saying sometimes used to describe successful businesses and churches as a 'well oiled machine'. The question I want to ask is: What would happen if there is no oil?

The machine may look great from the outside. It may appear to have everything it needs to perform its function well, but if the mechanics on the inside are not working properly (or don’t exist at all) the machine is not going to be able to achieve its purpose.
Hotel Nightmares Over the past weekend, I was away in another part of the country attending a relative’s wedding. We booked in to a local hotel run by a family. The room was spacious, lovely furnishings; the room was clean and provided everything we needed as a family to make our stay comfortable.  At first I thought this was going to be a great weekend. However, when we went down to the restaurant for our evening meal on the first night the cracks began to show. These cracks were not physical, but more in the way…

The Key To Christian Leadership Success

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When it comes to learning about leadership, I get quite excited. Not only because it is something I see God clearly moving me towards an ever deeper expression of in my own life, but because it is part of me becoming more like Jesus. Following his leading and direction for me in what I am supposed to be doing but more than that, responding and changing on the inside into who He wants me to be.

I have attended leadership seminars and devoured many Christian books about leadership. I have also looked at the lives of those whom I consider to be great Christian leaders, especially those who live their lives openly and humbly in obedience to Jesus.

There is one common theme that emerges from them all which I believe is the key, the foundation stone of good Christian leadership.

Regular Personal Prayer That common theme is regular, personal prayer. It may be surprising but it is so easy for leaders to be too busy leading and doing for there to be time to just connect with Jesus. To ask His…