Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A very early Christmas morning - or were we late?




The journey to spend Christmas in Colorado with my family was wonderfully uneventful, with 5 C Colorado sunshine out to greet us. By 7:00 Christmas eve we were warm and cozy in my parent’s house in Grover, and really glad to see our beds.
The Christmas morning wake-up call came at 3:30am, with all four of us very much awake. Soon my parents joined us, and all the presents and playing with the same and special breakfast were over by 6am. I thought this only happened with toddlers!!
Of course, looking at our watches showing UK time, it means we slept in until 10:30am.
So as long as we’ve no place to go, let it snow ...


We have had a very white Christmas!
The howling wind was our first clue. A few inches of fresh white had fallen through the night onto the already snowy and icy ground. We foreigners ventured out Christmas morning to play in the new snow for a few minutes, but it was very cold out there and we didn’t last long!
By Boxing Day most of the snowdrifts across the road were broken by the snow plows, and we are mobile again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Home for Christmas

After two years we are coming back to Colorado for 3 weeks.

We land in Denver on the 24th of December, and probably will all be up very early Chrismas morning to celebrate. We will begin our trip in Grover and are still working out the rest of the itinerary.

I understand it's cold but I'm really looking forward to some Colorado sunshine!

Sadness in Denver

As a King's Lodge family and as YWAMers, we are saddened by the killing of two and wounding of two YWAM staff in Denver last Sunday. Updates can be found on our international web site: http://www.ywam.org/

My first YWAM experiences were with YWAM Denver in 1987, first at weekend away "taster" camp, and then a summer worship seminar. I was so impressed with the sense of acceptance of everyone and godliness of those around me. The leader of the Denver base was just at The King's Lodge 2 weeks ago to teach on our DTS.

Our PCYM (Principles of Child and Youth Ministries) school includes the entire staff of YWAM Sarajevo (Bosnia) who are training in children's ministry. This Sarajevo team formed in Denver and was sent out from them. Two of our students were quite close friends with the two who died.

YWAM Denver had agreed to be in the media spotlight beginning in January 2008 with some reality TV watching them live out their Christian faith and growth. It seems the media eye has turned on them sooner than expected.

Pyramids, Romans and Luggage


We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

Phil, along with Dave, a traveling companion from our Hinckley church spent the final week of November in Egypt. You might remember that the ongoing work to establish Inductive Bible Training in Egypt (and, therefore, the Middle East) has been happening for years, and earlier this year we wondered if it had all crashed to the ground in a heap. In only the way God can do things, an Egyptian has "appeared" and capably taken up the challenging role of school leader.

Details should not be posted on the internet, but the course is filled with Christians from the region who want to learn so they can tell others. Phil was overwhelmed with the hunger and desire to learn the scriptures. In the past Egypt has been called a "desert of the word of God"; please pray that this will not be able to be said for long.

Unfortunately once in Amsterdam they were told their flight on to Cairo was cancelled. The passengers were re-routed through Hungary, but the luggage went on a 4-day holiday before catching up with the fellows. Weight restrictions forced some teaching materials to be checked in, only arriving for the final day. Phil lectured 4 days on Romans using only his Bible, and it was a really powerful time. He says one of the most fulfilling trips in a long time.

He would love to visit them again in the spring to support all that's happening.




TheNile at dusk and and the tourists





























Thankful

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

A friend from our church used to "commute" to San Francisco from his home in the Midlands of England. As you can imagine, he would work for a few weeks there, and then come home to his wife and do the paperwork here. He had the amazing experience at Thanksgiving-time of being overwhelmed with invitations to come celebrate the holiday with different colleagues. That experience made a big impact on Liam.

Now working back in the UK, Liam began thinking of all the international students we might have at TKL. He loves to cook and is good at it, and decided to invite every American at The Lodge for Thanksgiving dinner. For at least four years now he has shopped and cooked for nearly 30 American YWAMers away from home.

That's were we enjoyed our Thanksgiving, and boy, did we enjoy it!

Please, Daddy!!!

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

Phil has looked forward to the day when he could take one of his children with him on a teaching trip. That way they can see more of what he does, get to meet so many interesting people, and expand their understanding of the world and of God. So when Elisa brought the suggestion to her dad that she go with him to Switzerland during the October half-term, there was an immediate YES!

We put them on the EasyJet budget flight, and within a few hours they were in Lausanne, where Phil did his first YWAM course back in 1983. He could take Elisa down memory lane during his free time, but much of his time was spent prepping and teaching on the Bible Core Course there. The school is bilingual (English/Korean) and has 15 students.

Too bad she came back saying she was very bored, but we trust it is one of those moments she will look back at as part of her story.

September Wedding Bells


We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

The last weekend in September sent us to Stockton (nr Middlesbrough) for the wedding of nephew Steve and Angela. When Phil and I first met, Steve was a teenager in school, but now a successful businessman in London who has found himself a lovely wife to spend his life with.

It was a fantastic occasion with family and celebration, with some very pround aunties, uncles, mums & dads, and grannies.

The wedding coincided with the launch of the new term at The King's Lodge. It was the first time in 8 years that I wasn't "getting the house ready" and it felt very strange to not even be there for the weekend.

Three schools began in September - DTS, SBS and PCYM (Principles in Child and Youth Ministry) with about 40 students plus families this term.

A New Job for Linda

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

In December 1999 I was handed a folder containing job assignments by a lady who was headed to Kosovo on outreach. That was the beginning of my responsibility as House Functions Co-ordinator for The King's Lodge. Our dear Jonathan was not quite 3 yet, but I did our best meeting with people, doing some practical jobs, and observing our systems and methods of management. The responsibily was to run the domestic side of this training facility that can house 70 students -- managing a staff who ensures there are a (good) meals on the table, and clean home, and looking after any guests who are staying with us. Managing the equipment and resources, and complying with government regulations brought other interesting aspects to the job.

As Jonathan entered school in 2001 the job really took off for me, investing time in our department staff and developing system. The job had lots of areas of fulfillment for me, especially as I believe a big part of my calling is to help see things run well. The down side has been that the job wasn't always done when the kids came home from school.

We made a family decision this year for me to step back and focus on our 2 wonderful pre-teens. When they were first born, even people I didn't know would tell me that they grow up so fast and to enjoy them while you have them. That's what we've decided to do, and the shift has already been very fulfilling.

In keeping with my calling to help things run well, I have moved across the building to the youth and family ministry office of King's Kids. It is such a shift from the routine of 12-week terms and residential life to planning for weekend outreaches with young people and prepping for school assemblies. I am finding my way and where I fit; there has been a big cry for admin help in this TKL ministry and I love it.

A Dream Come True

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

Once back from China, we thought we would pick up a last-minute holiday at rock-bottom prices for the end of August. Unfortunately the rainy and generally unpleasant weather persuaded most of England to evacuate at some point over the summer, buying up all the airline seats.

In conversation with a work associate, Phil asked what the weather was like in Cyprus as we had always thought a holiday there might be nice. Within days we were on a Romanian airline to spend two weeks in Larnaca, staying in a holiday apartment attached to their home. What a gift!

Phil and I love the warmth of the sun and Meditteranean way; the children loved the sand and surf. It was the fulfillment of a dream.


Crusing the Med!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Remembering China

Wow, we've been back for a month and not told you much about our trip to Hong Kong and China. Sorry - partly due to being away on holiday for two weeks and partly due to spending time thinking through all that has happened. Here's a brief run-down:

In Hong Kong we attended a 5-day "Gateway Camp" with 1,000 others for input in loving God and bringing joy to his heart. Our focus was on China and also preparing us for the next step of our trip.

Our UK group of 28 travelled on to a large city in southern China to do "cultural exchange" and demonastrate parts of British culture. Scottish dancing, an English tea party, and football (soccer) skills was what we felt we could bring. You might be asking what the point of all that was - what did drinking tea have to do with our faith?!!

The dancing drew people as they saw something completely different from their usual experience. After we danced as a team, we invited our audience to come dance with us and we taught them the steps. How cool to dance with a Chinese person - and there are some VERY good dancers in China!

Next we served tea the "proper" way - with PG tips tea brought with us, milk and sugar, and scottish shortbread. SO different from the normal cup of tea in China, but that wasn't the powerful part. For centuries Western nations have come into China and demanded to be served by these people; because of this a barrier has developed between us. The tea itself wasn't our focus but it was a way for us to serve the Chinese people, humbling ourselves and honouring them. We were ploughing the ground so the seeds that will come can be planted.

The football was a means to get together with people without competition but to enjoy a kick-around.

I was so proud of Elisa again and again as she applied herself to all we are doing. She adjusts quickly to other cultures and made lots of friends within our big team.

The week we left for Hong Kong there was a medical crisis in the family of our team leader, preventing him and his wife from coming on the trip. It was awful for them, and a huge challenge for those of us who did go who had to take on lots more than we had expected. Everyone learned so much, learned to trust God more, and I have a much better idea what to do next time around.

Thank you for your prayers for us while we were away. Elisa has already begun a little piggy bank to save up for next year's trip!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Travellers Return

We're back!

Elisa and I returned to Nuneaton on Monday, full of stories and awe over the last 3+ weeks. I see Phil has been a good reporter concerning our movements but it is so difficult in just a few words to convey all that happens in meeting people, building relationships, investing into lives, and seeking God together for the good of a nation.

A good summary sentance? China is a beautiful country full of lovely people, and something very special is taking place there.

The internet is not an ideal place to casually relate stories and it is way past my Chinese bedtime! As we go through some photos and have time to reflect on all we have seen and done, we'll post more.

Linda

Friday, July 27, 2007

China Update 3

I had a text (SMS) from Linda yesterday. The weather was good and the team were able to perform at one of the festival sites throughout the day. In the evening they spent time in a park (Green Park) just opposite the hotel meeting people and worshiping in the open air.

The boys are doing ok back home. We leave for Brighton tomorrow, we plan to be there for a week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

China Update 2

I had a good chat with Linda on skype this morning. The team are part of an annual festival called the Lotus Festival, it last for the month of July. It seems that July is also quite a rainy month, the lotus flower opens in the rain! So, it is not only England that is experiencing rain, but there have been a couple of days of heavy rain that has hindered the presentations the team were planning to do.

However, Monday was a very good day, they went to one of the main parks and were involved in Scottish dancing, football (soccer) and circus tricks along with serving tea. Presenting some British culture! Linda said that there were some very good Chinese Scottish dancers.

This morning they went to a park opposite the hotel and again presented the dancing along side local people doing tai chi!

Some more dry weather would really help!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

China Update 1

Well, not much to say as I have not heard much. It seems communication is not easy and not much can be said by a text. They have arrived safely and are into the training camp. Sadly, the leader of the outreach from the UK (Andy) had to cancel at the last moment as his wife miscarried twins. Please pray for Andy and Kathryn. Practically this means Linda will be carrying more responsibility. I know she will do well.
They travel from Hongkong to Kun Ming on Friday (20th) to begin the actual outreach. Just before they left, Linda had a crash course in Scottish dancing so she can help the team perform at various cultural events. Well, at least Elisa is one quarter Scottish.
Us fellows are doing fine. I have not poisoned Jonathan yet and some kind friends at church have had mercy on Jonathan by inviting us out for dinner.
Watch this space, as I have more info I will post it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Have Bag, Will Travel


"I want a pink suitcase for my birthday!"


Elisa has entered into her second phase of all things in life being "Barbie" Pink. The colour suits her skin tone and her personality. And this bag will certainly be easy to locate on the luggage carousel!


From 13 July - 6 August, Elisa and I (Linda) fly off to take part in a King's Kids outreach in China. We begin with a 5-day training camp in Hong Kong, and then our UK team will spend 2 weeks in Kun Ming doing cultural exchange and sharing our lives and what is most important to us with the people we meet. It will be amazing to join 1,000 young people and leaders in Hong Kong as we launch into our outreach. King's Kids is a part of YWAM which focuses on young people and family in missions, and we have a growing King's Kids team working here out of The King's Lodge.


Elisa has done her bit to raise money for us to get there. She went on a sponsored fast of desserts, fizzy drinks, sweets, candy, and all things nice and wonderful. It lasted for two weeks, ending the day before her 12th birthday so she could enjoy her cake.


The boys will have to cook and clean on their own for nearly 3-1/2 weeks. It is really a little longer apart than any of us would like, so we are trusting God to cover us in our relationships and comfort us as we miss each other.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

End-of-term whirlwind

This is Phil here, a quick update on the Leage family.

The 2006-7 SBS (School of Biblical Studies) is studying the final book of the Bible right now, Revelation, and the graduation is next week. These 18 students leave us with a wonderful grasp of the Scripture that I know will be such a firm foundation for them in the future. We are proud of the way they have persevered in this demanding and challenging course; they have been a delight to have with us for this year. Some will continue their studies in some form, others back to serve in their local churches and some in missions.

Our schedule next week is quite busy. This Friday we have another Cheerleading event with Elisa performing. Saturday is more cheerleading training and this day is also her birthday. That will mean friends for dinner, a movie and a sleep over. On Sunday Jonathan is playing a football match, a "friendly" at our pitch here at The King’s Lodge. My birthday is next Monday when I will be teaching our Crossroads Discipleship Training School. The subjects are "Keys to Public Speaking" and "Preparing a Message". On Tuesday there is the SBS graduation when we honour our students. Wednesday is our 15th wedding anniversary when I fly out to Germany for a couple of days. There was an SOS sent out for a teacher for Jeremiah on one of our Bible Core Courses so even though I will be there just two days, (Wednesday evening to Friday afternoon) and I will pack a lot of teaching in during this time!

An American/English couple from our church have invited us to a 4th of July barbeque celebration! The next night Linda and I have been given to a meal out together, all expenses paid! It is in a very fancy private restaurant just down the road from us and will be the time we celebrate my birthday and our anniversary. A wonderful gift from the Lord.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update, we trust you have a blessed and refreshing summer season in whatever this means for you.

Cheerleading Gallery






Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Building towards the future

"Comfort, comfort my people," says your God. "Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins." Isaiah 40:1-2.


I have been thinking much about this verse, and all of them that follow in Isaiah 40 -66 as I have been preparing to teach this part of Isaiah to the School of Biblical Studies here at The King’s Lodge. Such a wonderful portion of scripture that shouts God’s great power, but also his tender love and compassion. When teaching Luke’s gospel in Lausanne (Switzerland) a couple of weeks ago at the Bible Core Course, I was impressed how often Luke was echoing this portion of Isaiah as he was writing about Jesus, the Servant King, who was the perfect Israelite, who in his life and ministry fulfilled the destiny of that chosen nation.

Plans are moving ahead with the architect for the much-needed ground floor meeting room. I am heading up the group that is involved with these plans and in a couple of weeks we should be able to present to the community here some initial drawings. This process has already take a couple of years, there is much more involved than I imagined in this kind of thing. Our desire is to make the building disabled accessible, build a meeting room for about 200 people, a dedicated hospitality suite, and relocate our garage and maintenance workshop. We praise God that we have already been promised £150-200,000 matched funding (when we raise £10,000, we will be given a matching £10,000) which is a huge encouragement to us. Watch this space for the initial designs.

I celebrated completing the final essay for the degree I mentioned in a previous blog. I am awaiting the tutor’s grade and comments on them. My attention has now shifted to the dissertation which is to be 8-10,000 words long. I will be writing on the relationship between the Mission Agency and the Local Church. It seems that some mission agencies can think that they ‘own’ missions while some church streams doubt the biblical legitimacy of the mission agency. What is sure is that in this globalized world, or global village as some like to call it, the whole scene of missions is changing. This exercise will give me an opportunity to explore the two areas of my ministry involvement, that of a staff worker in Youth With A Mission, but also as an elder of a local church. Already I am enjoying reading up in both church and missions.

We thank God that we keep well as a family and life continues to be full and challenging here at The King’s Lodge.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Lot to Cheer About

March always lives up to its name - it feels as if we stride so quickly through this month toward Spring!

Early March the September DTS was welcomed back for a week of debrief. They reported fantastic growth in themselves and their relationships with God, and being fruitful in Tanzania for 8 weeks (after 2 weeks in London).

Last Sunday we waved goodbye to our January DTS, who flew down to South Africa for their outreach until mid-June. Yesterday the term ended, with our Bible Coure Course graduating 11 students,and the SBS completing Term Two. Now on to the prophets ...!

Smack in the middle of all this was Jonathan's birthday -- our special boy has turned 10! He enjoyed a Laser Tag birthday party with his friends, but his actual birthday day was also focusing on Elisa.

The UK Cheerleading Association National Championships fell on 17-18 March, the weekend of Jonathan's birthday. At 10 he was less interested in being surrounded by girls all looking their best, but we are proud of him that he made the best of the day and was actually fascinated at how the girls were stunting, being thrown up in the air, and on all but just a few occasions they were being caught! Elisa's squad competed against older and more experienced girls and therefore didn't rank very high. The whole experience was brilliant for them, and there is a new determination to train and improve.



The new term begins Easter weekend. We are expecting about 20 on the Crossroads CDTS (and 10 children) and 10 on the Primary Health School along with our third term of the SBS. More new students to welcome and to induct and come to know, and to love.

For the next few days, though, we plan a well-earned rest.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In the classroom again

Its great to be back in the classroom again. A couple of weeks ago I was with the School of Biblical Studies here at The King’s Lodge where we were looking at the book of Deuteronomy. It was a great week of understanding how the law worked in the life of the ancient nation of Israel, its significance and what the implications are for today.

My time in Germany was a delight as I was able to spend time with my friends that run the school there. It was again looking at the law of Moses, this time the school was the shorter three month Bible Core Course (BCC). I had the joy both weeks of seeing the students’ attitude to this part of scripture change though out the week, and finish by loving the law – for the right reasons!

This week I am in the classroom again with the BCC here at the Lodge, this time exploring Wisdom literature. From the heights of lifestyle challenges in Proverbs, to the despair and confusion of Job and ‘ho hum, what’s the point’ of Ecclesiastes to the heights of romantic love of the Song of Solomon. Quite a ride.

Next week, the book of Kings.

Linda and the children are doing very well.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Travels continue


The Philippines was great. It has taken longer than hoped to recover from a packed week of "spying out the land", travel and adjust to the 8-hour time difference - twice! One of the best things about me doing these little excursions is the appreciation I have of what it is like for Phil to be away from the family and deal with the weariness of the travel.

We were a working party of 5 - all having worked together before in Cagayan de Oro - and all with different giftings and interests. The mission for these few days on the ground was to find the target areas of the city for the Mega-outreach for focus and impact. In such a short time I believe we heard God and saw the things he wanted us to.

It was an absolute joy to revisit locations where we had worked these past two years. Over the past two years and for just a few weeks we did what we could, prayed and shared our love for Jesus, and served the Filipinos. This return trip allowed me to see the "... and then ..." work that the pastors, YWAMers, and especially the Holy Spirit did after we left. It is a rare privilege to see the fruit of our labour from a short-term outreach.

One near-by city had been a main focus of our last two outreaches. Teams were there nearly every day for seven weeks running, going house-to-house to build relationships and share about Jesus. Many asked for Bible studies so we continued to visit their homes and became their friends. An area of this city was hit by a typhoon last year just after our team arrived, and all efforts shifted to restoring their homes and lives. The mayor has become our greatest advocate in the city. The evening before we flew out - last day of Chinese New Year - Madame Mayor invited our scouting party out to a 10-course Chinese meal as a way of honouring what we have done over these two years.
Phil is now the one who is away. He is teaching Deuteronomy on the Bible Core Course in Germany. It'll be great to be back together again on Friday!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What's planned for Valentine's Day


So, you ask, what do we have planned to celebrate Valentine's Day?? Not what we expected.


Preparation is underway for another Mega-Outreach this summer in the Philippines. Past experience in setting up and participating in the last two outreaches makes Linda an excellent choice for taking part in an Advance Team to travel and make summer plans. When we have 100+ people participating, it's really important that arrangements and details are in place so time, money and effort during the actual outreach can be maximised. This Advance Team will pave the way for another powerful outreach.


When Linda told Jonathan she had been invited to go to the Philippines again and asked him how he would feel about her being away, he thought for a minute, said, "Yeah, OK," and then looked over to me with the comment, "burnt lasagne!" which seems to be the main thing they remember from Linda's past times away.


The trip is only for one week, but Valentine's Day is when I kiss my sweetheart goodbye.

Nose in the Books

These last few months have had a different emphasis for me. Let me explain. During autumn of 1997 I embarked on a journey that is still not over; I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree with the Open Theological College (which is now part of the University of Gloucestershire). Due to the pressure of other demands I have not been able to work consistently on the course work – I have taken time out to lead schools, teach, travel and engage with leadership responsibilities here at the Lodge ... and Linda will remind me that I have a family, too. But, my time in the studies have proven to be a rich and rewarding experience.

The degree program was structured so I would finish within six years; as that didn’t happen I had to re-register. The end is now in sight, though, and with one more final deadline of full completion this time, 2008 is hemming me in. I am completing my final module with about 7,500 words worth of essays to write, then a dissertation remains of 10,000 words. It will be on the relationship between the mission agency and the local church in a globalized world and I am looking forward to this.

The journey has been a wonderful one so far. I have been able to engage with Church History, discovering I had more in common with some groups branded heretics than with the established church! The Montanists of the Second Century and the Lollards of the 14th especially got my attention. These people simply wanted to obey Jesus and the Holy Spirit rather than the dictates of the established church, and paid a high price to do so. Studying about Perpetua, a young woman who died in the Roman Arena in Carthage, North Africa, in the early Third Century, was both moving and inspiring.

Wrestling with ethics has been challenging and fun. I have just completed a paper discussing at what point a couple is actually married. Is co-habitation really marriage minus an unnecessary piece of paper (marriage licence) when love and a commitment to permanence is there? Many in contemporary society (including a growing number of Christian young people) would seem to think so, but what does the Bible say? Understanding in a fresh way the significance of Old Testament law in relationship to ethics has been a thrill also. The Bible is SO relevant for society today.

My aim is now is finish this penultimate module on cross-cultural missions which has a focus on postmodern western culture. For many churches, reaching out to their contemporary society is truly a cross-cultural experience. The most recent paper I have written to submit is about the differences between the modern and the so-called postmodern worlds, and what this may mean for the mission of the church.

My next paper will discuss how we can know truth when it is widely held by many today that absolute knowledge is not possible. ‘It may be true for you but that does not mean it is true for me...,’ we hear this kind of thing a lot today. What does this all mean for interpreting the scripture, how do we know that truth can be known? In home group Bible studies equal weight can be given to everybody’s opinion of the text, unknowingly embracing the postmodern value that truth is subjective.

Due to the fact I have a deadline for graduation, I have been released from some of my responsibilities to concentrate in these studies, but for the month of March I will be teaching classes, both here at The King’s Lodge and in Munich Germany.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

School's Out


It snowed again. This time it was real snow - enough to impress even Linda. Thursday we woke to snow in the air and 2 inches on the ground and, to our surprise and the children’s delight, school was cancelled. What else can the kids do but join the snow ball fight!

Friday carried on with snow in the air. Jonathan’s school cancelled again, but Elisa had the privilege of continuing her education in the classroom.

We move into a week of half-term holidays now, and school is already a distant memory.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Labourers are coming to England - we need more space!!

Just one week into our new term, YWAM Nashville sent a DTS team of 21 students and staff for two weeks to minister in England. While staying at TKL they did a lot of schools work including after school clubs and lessons in a secondary school on "cultures". They were able to share about their faith in terms of how Christ has affected their lives and tell of their experiences as Christians. Working in an inner-city school in Birmingham, they saw fruit that has come after years of planting - 13 young people became Christians that week!


Every corner of space was filled here at the Lodge. With our 56 students (including their families) and the extra 21, and all of us who work here with our families, we had about 150 people on site. That's a lot of people!!!


Our meeting room last Monday night was packed as we worshipped together, reminding us of the importance of increasing our space for a larger meeting hall. Meetings with the architect and highways agency are underway; issues of planning permission are sticky as our entrance is onto a major road and there is resistance to increased traffic. It is a big point of prayer for us right now and we'd value yours, too.

A donor has offered matched funding up to £200,000 – thank you, God! If you would like to know more about this project, contact Phil and he can answer you questions.

Get more news on TKL on www.thekingslodge.com

It's snowing!!!

For the past month Colorado has been covered in snow ... a lot of snow.

Wednesday we in Nuneaton had snow too! OK, it only lasted for the morning instead of the four weeks my family has seen, but it was snow nevertheless. Our one inch was the first snow ever experienced by some of our students from Africa.



We won!! After a pretty long losing streak Higham United under 10's scored a 2-0 victory over Amington. The boys haven't had a training session all of January due to poor weather and/or pitch conditions. Last week's match was called off due to a form of a duck pond in the middle of the pitch. But the boys were determined today, and ran and passed and attacked like we've not seen before. Jonathan came home definately needing a bath!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Look out for the dogs

From Phil

Philippians 3:2 ‘Look out for the dogs...’


I should have taken more notice of this verse. Let me tell you a story...


For my birthday last year (June) Linda gave me a beautiful brown leather-bound red-lettered New Living Translation Bible. It has a zip around it so I could more easily travel with it in my hand luggage. I have grown to value and appreciate this version; it is a great read using poignant, contemporary English, and when interpretive, it seems to capture the meaning very well.


Recently we have invested in the i-pocket format in this version which is the scripture being read aloud in a format that can be downloaded onto a ipod. The other day, Linda and I were truly ministered to while listening to Leviticus during a jigsaw puzzle evening.


Back to my dogs story.

While in Chile last November I stayed with Mitch and Juliet, leaders of the YWAM facility where I was teaching, and I had the joy of sharing the house not only with the
m, their four children and Pete (my travelling companion), but also their dog!!!

Beware of the Dogs!!!


One morning, as became my custom, I sat outside, overlooking the beautiful South
Pacific ocean, reading the book of Job. Very appropriate!! I then put the new, leather-bound, Bible on a table, I went in side for another cup of coffee (a great help when reading and meditating) and got caught up in a conversation with my friend, Mitch. About half an hour later, I returned to find that the dog (was this what Philippians was talking about?) had decided he liked the smell of my Bible cover, and started with the maps for his breakfast! I trust that even if the Word was sweet to his mouth, it was not too bitter to his stomach!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Year-end puzzles

From Linda:

We had a great Christmas celebration. I was one of three asked to share a reflection on Christmas during our church Christmas Eve service. I talked about the "Wonder of Christmas" -- I wonder if I have done everything, did I spend too much, how will the dinner go ... But then we looked at John 3:16 & 17 in The Message about the true wonder that Jesus came to rescue and save us.

Our Christmas dinner included Phil's mum and sister and a couple from Central Asia (she is studying on the SBS and he is working with us). We asked about their Christmas traditions, but both were raised as Muslims and still now only one family member knows the Lord. Wow.


I decided our family needed a relaxing past time to do together so bought everyone a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas. Guess who is doing all the puzzles!! They have grabbed me in the same way as a good novel where it is so difficult to tear away and not want to rush back again. I wish I had found easier puzzles.

The first DTS student arrived yesterday. Elisa and I picked her up as we dropped a friend off at Birmingham Airport. The DTS and BCC (Bible Core Course) begin on Friday, the 5th, and the SBS resumes for the second term on Monday, 8th. We begin working again on the 4th, and have to go from standing still to full-throttle in 24 hours. This is especially significant for "The House" (my responsibility), all the domestic aspects that help people feel secure and clean and having full tummies ... like being at home.