Archive | March, 2010

Would You Want Heaven Without Jesus?

31 Mar

A provocative question posed by John Piper that reveals where our joy really is and whether we are truly born again.

(HT: Take Your Vitamin Z)

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Evening Worship Because of Your Elders

29 Mar

The penultimate reason from Rev. David McCullough’s leaflet entitled “Why Evening Worship?”

Church isn’t about serving yourself, it’s a family

6. Because we are Under the Authority of Elders

One of the curses of our day and age is the spirit of individualism that says I will do what suits me and I am accountable to no one but myself.  Biblical Christianity is to liberate us from this selfish and self centred mindset.  When God in His loving kindness saves us He sets us in a church family.  In that church family Christ has delegated His authority to the elders who are called to lead and organise the life of the church.

Elders in every local church will at the end of their lives give account as to how they have led, fed and nurtured the people of God.  Our responsibility is to honour those whom God has placed in authority over us.  If they have decided before God that public worship is beneficial twice on the Lord’s day then it is our duty to seek to honour them in that.  Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.  “Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17)

Part 1- Because of the Glory of God

Part 2- Because Jesus is There

Part 3- Because It’s the Lord’s Day

Part 4- Because of Each Other

Part 5- Because of Our Witness

Last minute goal salvages a point for Renwick

25 Mar
  • Much changed Renwick side earn a point in final league game
  • Both teams forced to play with 10 men due to lack of numbers
  • Other results mean Renwick finish up in 6th in the league

[Updated details about dinner at bottom of post]

The opposition for the last game of the Belfast Superleague came in the form of 10 man Belfast Bible College. While the Renwick manager had struggled to get a team together, his BBC counterpart had clearly had a worse time of it. To their credit, they did manage to bring someone to referee the whole game. Due to numerous absences, 3 players were making their first appearance of the season. Joel Loughridge, the former Renwick number 1, stepped in at centre half to marshal the defence. Richard McKelvey, returning to the action following an 18 month layoff due to a broken nose (unfortunately the match report does not record the circumstances), joined the defence at left back, leaving Ben Hanna to move further up the pitch. Newcomer Dave Browne started the game on the bench, coming on in midfield midway through the first half.

Richard thought his shirt smelled. Seriously.

Just before kickoff Renwick were informed that BBC could only field 10 players, forcing the manager into some quick tactical changes. In the end, a 4-3-2 formation was adopted, although whether it worked is up for debate. Either way, it was certainly strange, and left masses of space in the wide areas of the pitch. Philip Dunwoody would have had a field day! Due to numerous injuries plaguing several Renwick players throughout the match, having a sub worked out quite well.

BBC got the match underway, and almost immediately it was clear that they were not a team who were comfortable on the ball. Renwick were very dominant in the opening exchanges, controlling possesion, and setting the tempo for the game. BBC handled the pressure well, and did enough to ensure that Renwick were not able to find the killer pass in the final third. A general hesitancy and lack of strength in front of goal did not help the cause.

McCullough about to munch the striker

The opening goal came from the most farcical of circumstances. The BBC rolled the ball to his left back, who feeling the pressure from Mitchell, scuffed a pass which somehow passed through the centre of the park, under Stevie McCollum and into the feet of the striker who beat the onrushing keeper with an early shot. This was the first real attack BBC had put together and came very much against the run of play. Like most goals Renwick concede, this one was very defensible. After the goal, the game continued as before with Renwick encamped outside the BBC box, but not creating any real chances. With every goal kick, Renwick easily won the ball in the air and took it up the pitch. At one point I did wonder whether the keeper was deliberately kicking the ball into touch just to get a throw in to move the play up the pitch, a bit like what happens in rugby. In fact, the game at times could have been mistaken for rugby, what with the amount of big high kicks from the keeper and the lack of corners.

Another Renwick attack about to come to nothing

The Renwick midfield was set up with Mark Porter playing alongside Mark McCavery, who had been dropped back to add some bulk to the centre of the park. The wings were largely neglected, although Ben Hanna did spend some time on the left flank, and worked tirelessly to prevent BBC having an time to collect their thoughts and pass the ball about. Mark Porter’s direct running at goal caused problems, but the defence managed to hold tight.

With about 10 minutes to go in the half, BBC launched another counter attack, this time coming down the right. Richard McKelvey, who had been having a solid game up to this point, allowed the striker to muscle goal side of him, and as before, took an early shot at goal, leaving McCullough in no man’s land, and the ball creeped just inside the post to make it 2-0 to the Dunmurry side. Sky Sports News don’t cover BSL matches, but if they did, no doubt they would have come up with some stats to illustrate the huge share of possession and territory Renwick enjoyed.

Decent finish

Renwick’s dominance did finally pay off shortly before half time, when Michael Mitchell fought well to hold onto the ball in the BBC box. The ball was passed to Ian Buchanan who showed good strength to beat the defender as he slid in to score his 15th goal of the season and continue his 2010 scoring run. The goal had been coming almost since the start and was certainly deserved. With only minutes of the half left, the Elmwood side were unable to convert the pressure into another goal and both teams convened for half time talks.

The guy stuck to Joel’s shoulder slowed him down at times

He managed to shrug him off eventually

Even at half time, the strain of playing with 10 men was starting to show on some players, and it would be fair to say that the next 45 was played at a slower pace. BBC, spurred on by their surprising lead, took the game to Renwick in the second half, and started to play down the wings, causing problems in the Renwick defence.

With 20 minutes remaining, and BBC still 2-1 up, Renwick were starting to look very short of options. Ian Buchanan and Michael Mitchell were being met with some resolute defending. Buchanan and McCavery swapped places, reverting to more familiar positions. Up to this point, McCavery had done well in midfield, winning everything in the air and ensuring that there was no way through for any would be BBC attacks. Shortly after this switch, Mark Porter, who had been having a great attacking game already, picked the ball up inside the centre circle and embarked on a direct run an goal, weaving through at least 3 defenders before shooting just inside the box and placing the ball well into the corner, leaving the keeper and several confused looking defenders in his wake. It was a fantastic individual goal, certainly a contender for goal of the season. It gave Renwick a much needed boost, and although it was not a team goal, the foundations had been laid through some very good team play and desire, a factor which had been slightly lacking in previous games.

Not even their 8ft tall keeper could stop it

A promising BBC attack forced McCullough into a save to push to ball behind for a corner kick. The corner came to Morrison standing on the post who got a head to it, but the clearance was unconvincing and the ball came straight back into the box. With no one stamping their authority on the situation, the ball fell at the feet of the BBC left winger who turned a shot high into the top corner of the Renwick net with an unstoppable shot. Having just got into the game, the goal came as a blow to Renwick, but the belief remained.

Poor guy didn’t stand a chance

For the last 5 minutes, McCullough came out of nets, leaving the injured Ben Hanna to see out the season as goalkeeper. His only action was to take a kick out of his hands, which he did with minimal success. McCullough immediately moved high up the pitch and got up into the faces of the BBC players, forcing several throw ins. In the last minute, Buchanan took a throw deep in enemy territory to Andrew Morrison, and after a quick passing interchange, he found Stevie McCollum roaming on the edge of the box, as he likes to do. He took a touch or two, found half a yard a struck a shot hard and low into the corner of the net to score the goal that brought the teams level again at 3-3. A cheeky if ever there was one.

Ian about to play the killer ball

Stevie’s goal – awesome way to finish

Man of the Match


Mark Porter – an excellent solo goal capping a great performance

More photo action:

So that was it, 3-3, and the league was over. Maybe not the finish we had hoped for, but under the bizarre circumstances, a fair outcome. Renwick finished 6th in the league. Derryvolgie had already won the league last week, and the best Renwick could have hoped for was 4th place. However wins today for Donegal Rangers and Derry City made this unachievable with only a point from the game today. Final league standings here. Renwick’s push for the title faded considerably after Christmas, with the loss of key players in key games no doubt contributing to this. Having said that, it’s been great fun and I’d like to thank everybody who has played in any game for however long. Credit especially to Mark McCavery, James McCullough and Ben Hanna who have played in every game this season. To those who come and watch or take photos, thank you to you as well!

But the season isn’t over just yet, as this year Renwick have still to compete in the Belfast Super Cup, which is to be played after Easter. There are currently 15 teams entered, meaning there will be four rounds. As has been noted this season, we have not played a team that we absolutely could not have beaten, and so the Cup should be viewed as a decent chance of making something of the season. The first match is 21st April, with the draw yet to be made. Details will be in the Twitter feed on the right of this page when they’re available.

With all that covered, the only thing left to mention is….

Renwick Dinner 2010

The annual Renwick football dinner will once again be held in Barnabys, near Ballyclare. It will be on Monday 26 April, probably starting around 7.00-7.30 pm. It will cost £22 £20, payable to Andrew Morrison. If you want to go, if you could let me know before 16th April, that would be great, and just to be clear this is not just for the football team! If you’ve any other questions, just get in touch with me.

Dromore RPC Sermon Videos

23 Mar

On the Dromore RPC website you may have seen that we’ve started recording sermons in video. It’s still a work in progress and there’ll be improvements made but I thought I’d let you know in case you wanted to watch the sermons online or download the video in MP4 to watch on your ipod.

Download mp4

All sermons are still of course available in audio.

Evening Worship Because of Our Witness

22 Mar

Part 5 in Rev.David McCullough’s series nicked from a church leaflet entitled “Why Evening Worship?”

5. Because of our Witness to the World

The message of the Scripture is that our lives are to display to men and women the glorious light of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). When we are present at worship we are making an important statement to visitors – the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life. When we are absent visitors note and conclude – there mustn’t be much of importance that is happening here. Our presence at worship says to the world that the proclamation of the Word of God is vital.

There is a secondary dimension to this, in that, as we come under the Word Christ deals with us and uses His Word to make us more like Him and the more like Him we are the more useful we will be in reaching the lost.

Part 1- Because of the Glory of God

Part 2- Because Jesus is There

Part 3- Because It’s the Lord’s Day

Part 4- Because of Each Other

“Here am I! Send Me!”

20 Mar

Serving in Cyprus this Summer…

‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…

But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed and how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”’ Romans 10:13

15th June-7th July are the dates for the Cyprus Mission Team 2010…

Could God be calling you to serve Him in Cyprus this Summer?

A mission field with a massive vision needing your time and energy…will you serve the Kingdom and answer the call?

For a lot of you the thought of RP Missions seems like an American thing, not something easily accessible to the Irish RPs, this however isn’t true and as well as serving on GO Teams there are opportunities for you to serve God in this way during the Summer.

So what about Cyprus?

Cyprus is a Eurasian island country in the Eastern Mediterranean, south of Turkey and west of Syria and Lebanon. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of its most popular tourist destinations. 78% of the population of Cyprus identify themselves as being Greek Orthodox and there are only a small amount of evangelical Christians on the island. However we believe the Lord is working in this part of the world and building His Kingdom and through the work of our denomination and other brothers and sisters in the Lord, God is calling people to Himself.

What can I do?

PRAY. GO. GIVE.

‘Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”’ Matthew 9:37-38

PRAY-As Christians we believe in an Almighty God and so it is to our God, through grace, we bring our prayers and petitions. Most importantly the work in Cyprus needs to be steeped in prayer and if you are considering serving God here in the Summer pray that God would open up the opportunity for you to go and be leading and guiding you in this decision. Even if this mission team does not suit you be prayerful for the work in Cyprus, contact our missionaries there and be specific in your prayers. Believe that God answers our prayers if we are asking in His will and pray for the labourers that they would have boldness, courage and strength in the work.

GO– Be apart of the work in Cyprus this Summer! As a member of the team you will be involved in working alongside the RP witness there, serving amongst youth and teaching children. The work in Cyprus mostly includes encouraging the believers in Larnaca and spending time with the youth club, organizing a retreat for them and activities to get to know them better and build up relationships. You can have a massive impact on the young people here, we are so blessed to have the churches and teaching we have and this can be one of our greatest gifts as we serve. Working with a diverse group of believers gives you a real sense of what it means to sacrifice daily for the sake of the gospel. When we go out of our comfort zones and serve God far from home we grow and mature in our faith. Will you go?

GIVE– Consider the resources it takes to keep a mission station like Cyprus alive, what can you give if not time to pray or yourself in service?

Serving in Cyprus is not only challenging but very rewarding, lessons will be learnt that may never be learnt at home this Summer, not only this but it is a lot of fun too! Who doesn’t want to serve in a hot, sunny country where there are beautiful beaches, amazing food, mountain-top camps and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet?!

15th June-7th July…


PRAY. GO. GIVE.

‘And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “HERE AM I! SEND ME.”’ Isaiah 6:8

We need 6 members for this team… you have to be over 18 to apply…

Apply today at… http://www.rpmissions.org

CY Prayer Email

20 Mar

SWS’s latest post highlights the importance of the much-underused CY Prayer Email. I’m not posting this in any sort of condemnatory way as I’m to blame for when there are no Lisburn or Dromore prayer points. I know it’s hard to remember and not easy to start doing but this is an important way we can encourage each other.