Last March I reached the milestone of my 65th birthday. For many their 65th birthday coincides with stopping work and retiring. This can be a time of huge life-change, but for me the change has been more gradual.
God has been so good to me over 40 years of ministry and I have often seen His goodness in His sovereign ruling of the timing of events. This last year I have experienced that again.
Last September I went part-time, although it often feels as though I’m still full-time! It’s great to be free and have greater flexibility into my diary and I appreciate that.
Marian and I celebrated our Ruby wedding anniversary (40years) last summer with a weekend in Paris. It was a lovely time, the highlight of the weekend was a visit to Monet’s garden in Giverny. This is somewhere Marian has always wanted to visit, it didn’t disappoint!
The other big family event of the last few months was the passing away, after a long illness, of Marian’s mum. Christine was 84 years old and a dear Christian woman who had walked with God for over 70 years. She left a legacy of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, most of whom are following Jesus. It is usual to make jokes about mother-in-laws but they didn’t really apply to Christine. We could talk, laugh and pray together. Her faith was vibrant and real, she will be missed but, undoubtedly, things are far better for her now she is with Jesus.
The death of Marian’s mum occurred just before the Newfrontiers Global conference in Turkey so, unfortunately, we were not able to go. Marian and I were really sad to miss the opportunity to meet up with friends old and new from the wider Newfrontiers family of churches.
The leadership of Hope Church Winchester, where I have served for 15 years, has expanded with the addition of 2 excellent new elders (Johnathan and Jim). Our eldership team now consists of 5 men, including myself, and there is a real sense of these new guys taking weight. It really does feel like a multiplication not an addition and this makes my own release to part time employment much easier.
As I approached this new phase I have had a number of prophetic words spoken over me with two aspects standing out. Firstly, the concept of ‘legacy’ and, secondly, the call to write things down. As I thought this over, and talked about it with friends, one thing that has emerged is this new website.
I’m excited to have a new way of communicating with a wider circle of friends. I have the privilege of mentoring some of our younger leaders in the Commission family of churches. For a long time I have wanted to serve the next generation through short articles to pass on valuable insights and some of the material I have developed over 40 years in church leadership.
It will be great to also have a way I can inform people of my current activities in serving the churches at home and abroad. You can find out where I will be over the next three months on my calendar.