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January 2016
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March 2016

Announcement about Mark Conner's Future

This weekend, I made the following announcement to my church family - CityLife Church. Obviously, it was a surprise to many, while not to others. There is a degree of sadness with any change like this but I am also encouraged by the amount of support I have received. [Watch on You Tube] I have given the matter of our church’s future, as well my own future, much prayer and reflection over the last eight months. As a result, I believe that it is time to start thinking about a successor – who will be the next Senior Minister of... Read more →

The Fisherman and the Businessman

A holidaying American businessman standing on the pier of a quaint coastal fishing village in southern Mexico watched as a small boat with just one young Mexican fisherman pulled into the dock. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. Enjoying the warmth of the early afternoon sun, the American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish. "How long did it take you to catch them?" the American casually asked. "Oh, a few hours," the Mexican fisherman replied. "Why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" the American businessman then asked. The Mexican warmly replied,... Read more →

Could you live to be 100?

Over 3,000 years ago, Moses wrote this: Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures … they quickly pass, and we fly away … Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:10-12. NIV More people are living over 100 today than at any time in history. They are referred to as ‘centenarians’. The United Nations estimates that there are 316,600 alive today who are over 100 years of age. In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that one third of babies born in the year 2013 will... Read more →

Is it time to slip away ...

As I read the Gospels, there is a refrain that continues to play throughout the stories of Jesus. Jesus is actually not this ministry machine, who is always teaching, praying, healing and helping people. He regularly slips away ... to be by himself. Matthew 14:13. When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. MB Matthew 14:23. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. MB In solitude, we often find perspective for our life, as well... Read more →

Start Small

Some encouraging advice from Jesus today: Matthew 10:41-42. This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing. The Message Bible Sometimes we can easily get lost in reaching for big dreams and huge visions that we lose the importance of the everday and the ordinary. Jesus wanted his disciples to take the good news of the kingdom... Read more →

What Leaders Do

Last Thursday night, we had our first All Leader's Summit at CityLife Church. It's always good to get tighter with such an enthusiastic and committed group of people, who help care for our congregation and lead our various ministries. At the meeting, I took some time to review what it is that leaders actually do. Here is a summary of what I shared ... What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘leader’ or ‘leadership’? My Story - Personally, I never saw myself as a ‘leader’. It was someone else who first pointed out a leadership gift in... Read more →

A Great Sermon

Here’s an old poem by Edgar Guest that's worth reflecting on, especially for all of us who teach and preach others ... A Sermon I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way. The eye’s a better pupil, and more willing than the ear; Fine counsel is confusing, but example is always clear. So I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do; It is not enough to preach it, you must live the sermon, too. For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you... Read more →

The God Who Pays Attention

Jesus tells us that we have a Father who pays attention to our lives - down to the very details. Matthew 10:29-30. God cares what happens to it (a small canary) even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail — even numbering the hairs on your head. Numbering the hairs on our head (an easier task for some of us than others!) is not a statement of God's mathematical prowess but rather of his caring attention to even the minute details of our life. The priestly blessing says this: Numbers 6:24-26.... Read more →