This morning it was Paula's turn to share the word and minister to The Gathering and what a great job she did!

Paula spoke about the River of God using Ezekiel 47:1-12 as her main text. We all felt like we'd been served up a full banquet as she faithfully expounded the Word and opened up the simple mystery for us.

I particularly loved the point about salt water becoming fresh water, something that is impossible for man but effortless for God.

The word was followed by a powerful time of ministry which picked up on the word and a prophecy shared earlier in our gathering.

God was clearly moving and speaking to us as a church and we're thankful for his presence!

2016 has been a great year so far, and to be honest it just keeps on getting better and better!

It was prophesied in The Gathering early in 2016 that this year would be a "year of blessings" and this has certainly been our experience and we're deeply grateful to God for the blessings poured out in our lives.

Today marks another major blessing for me as I've been married for exactly half my life today.

I was 24 years and 347 days old when I had the immense privilege of marrying Paula and today is 24 years and 347 days since then.


Man I am seriously blessed!

Happy Place

It's great to be back in my happy place making soup on a Thursday morning for our Soup Kitchen later this evening.

Today's soup is a butternut, carrot, tomato and beef sausage offering and so far it's tasting delicious, even if I say so myself.

We've been blessed by a family who have been providing the soup for the last few months and we're thankful for the blessing that they were. However, we felt it was time to take control again and reclaim the Soup Kitchen as an outreach of The Gathering.

I hadn't realised just how much I had missed making the soup until today!

As we approach our Silver Wedding Anniversary next month I'm going to post some thoughts, reflections and anecdotes about marriage...

Back in the day when I was still a practicing social worker for the local government in Blighty, it was deemed politically incorrect to refer to one's wife or husband as wife or husband. Rather, we were encouraged to be more inclusive and refer to our wife or husband as our partner.

A while ago I posted about my Greatest Joy in ministry which is quite simply releasing others into ministry.

This morning at The Gathering we had the utter joy and privilege of hearing Errol preach for the first time. Errol was excellent. He'd been incredibly dilligent in his preparation, he'd spent ages reading the scriptures and delving into commentaries and he dealt with a "curved ball" (to quote Errol) with aplomb.

Errol recently graduated from college with a law degree (LL.B) so he's more than capable of doing the necessary research, and then seeing an argument/point through to its logical conclusion and we weren't disappointed this morning at The Gathering!

Also on Saturday Linda was sharing testimony at a women's event organised by a local counselling service as part of their Women's Month Celebrations. It was a great joy to release Linda into this and we just know that she was a genuine blessing to some very hurting women.

I know little of American politics and if I'm honest I have little interest.

However, in Donal Trump I find myself unusually drawn to the pending US Presidential Elections, if only because he's actually quite entertaining, albeit in the same way that the 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is.

Soup Kitchen

There was such a happy vibe at our soup kitchen last night. Maybe it was because Paula got to join us for a change, though I suspect that it was because it felt like a warm Spring evening which just encouraged guys to hang around a bit longer and chill together.

Either way it made for a pleasant and fun evening serving our regular friends.

The soup went down a storm and everyone left sated and very happy.

Thank you for the blessings Lord!

Yesterday we had the privilege of attending the Hillsong Leadership Network Open House. We always find these times very inspiring and uplifting. In fact, they're so full and packed that to quote Steve Penny (yesterday's speaker) we just feel the need to "sneak off to our cave" afterwards to digest all that was said.

We really value the input and support we receive from Hillsong, we know some local churches are threatened by them but their fear is baseless. How can anyone be threatened by a church that uses the tagline: "Championing you & your local church"?!?

Baby Saver

On our recent Roadshow trip to Blighty we showed a couple of pictures of the Helderberg Baby Saver but we didn't get a chance to explain exactly what it is or why it's needed in the community.

The Baby Saver is on the side of Choices, a crisis pregnancy counselling service run by the local churches in the Helderberg. The Baby Saver itself is on the side of the building, away from any CCTV or other forms of surveillance, so mothers that need to give their babies away can do so anonymously.

Greatest Joy

On our travels we often meet folk who try to assume a role of authority over us or speak in to our lives, as if somehow they have a right to, when the reality is they simply don't. Not only do they not have that right, but most simply don't have a clue as to what it is they're actually trying to do, even if they are well meaning.

However, every once in a while you get to meet someone who truly is a mentor and truly does have the skill of asking the right questions in the right way and of drawing out the best in you.

We had the privilege of spending time in the UK with Paul, one of Paula's former bosses. He now runs a mentoring network and is in the process of establishing a brilliant ministry called Chapel House.

Anyway, in the midst of our precious time with Paul & Jane, Paul asked a very simple question: "What is your greatest joy in your ministry?"
The main reason for our trips back to Blighty every three years is to feedback to our supporters and churches and to try and drum up some fresh support. Over the years people drop off for a number of reasons and as such it's hard work maintaining the momentum in encouraging folk to partner with us financially.

Aside from giving tax efficiently via Stewardship, we've now set up two very simple ways in which you can partner with us. Both options are via PayPal, the first allows you to simply donate using any credit or debit card, the second one requires a PayPal account.

Petition

Recently I started a petition on the UK Government's petition website.

At first glance it may appear to have an anti South African stance about it, but it really doesn't. Saly, I was limited to a certain number of characters and after several attempts this was the best I could come up with.

This isn't anti South Africa or South Africans, far from it. What it is about is stopping what I feel is a gross injustice.

Testimony Sunday


Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story
(Psalm 107:2)

Wow, nothing warms a Pastor's heart more than seeing their flock growing in Christ, hungry for more of the Holy Spirit and stepping out in faith, sharing their often deeply moving stories of how God is at work and has been at work in their lives.

This morning at The Gathering we gave our gathering over to testimony. We like to do this a few times throughout the year because it's good to hear what the Lord is doing in each other's lives.

Dear Mark Carney,
I'm sure you're a very nice man but would you please just stop talking for a while.
Every time you speak you run the UK down a little bit more and the Pound takes a tumble.
Please just stop talking!
Yours sincerely
Dean

Voting Day

Today is Voting Day in South Africa as the country goes to the polls to vote in the Municipal elections.

For me it's a day that gets me quite angry given that I've lived here for 12 years, am a Permanent Resident with a constitutional right to remain in the country and yet I can't vote.