Peter Williams

Family At Prayer

Peter Williams (Sun, 28 May 2017)

Peter continued our series on prayer looking at the church family at prayer, focusing on Luke 18:1-14.

A modern take on the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18).

To view Peter's slides (in PDF format), click here.


The aim of prayer is not to change the mind of God, but to bring our hearts into line with Him.

7 prayerless days makes 1 weak.

"Your expectation is God's invitation." Julian Adams

"He had been desperately hoping that the lion would say yes, he had been horribly afraid it might say no. But he was taken aback when it did neither. He thought of his mother, and he thought of the great hopes he had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump came in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out: 'But please, please won't you, can't you give me something that will cure my mother?' Up until then he had been looking at the lions great feet and the huge claws on them; now in despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own (wonder of wonders) great shining tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the lion must really be sorrier about his mother than he was himself."
C S Lewis, Magicians Nephew p159 and 168

Exodus 17:11‭-‬13 NLT

1 Timothy 2:8‭-‬10 MSG


Tell everyone about your prayer life - highs and lows - trust me you’ll be encouraged!

What encourages you the most regarding prayer (to get you praying)?

What has been your best answer to prayer?

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God In The Dark Places

Peter Williams (Sun, 07 May 2017)

Peter spoke from Psalm 22 about hearing from God in the dark times.

To view Peter's slides (in PDF format), click here.

To view Peter's full notes (in PDF format), click here.

When on the cross, Jesus quotes Psalm 22. We can copy Jesus’s pattern of communication with God when we feel forsaken.

● Recognise your separation
● Express your angst, where are you God?
● Recognise who you are
● Recognise who God is
● Tell the facts of the situation
● Seek prophecy
● Request in faith
● It is finished
Questions for Groups

In your experience, where is God in your dark places?
How do you struggle to get perspective when it's dark?
Does the pattern of Psalm 22 help you?

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The Last Supper Hospitality and Community

Peter Williams (Sun, 09 Apr 2017)

Peter talked on Jesus and the last supper, and looked at how we could live out community and hospitality.

To view Peters' notes (in PDF format), click here.

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Peter Williams (Sun, 29 Jan 2017)

Peter continued our series on spiritual gifts looking at communion.

To see Peter's slides (in PDF format), click here.

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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New Year - Wading Deeper

Peter Williams (Sun, 08 Jan 2017)

Peter welcomed us to the New Year and explained some things that God is saying for us as a church.

We apologise for the poor quality of this audio recording.

To view Peter's slides (in PDF format), click here.

Wading deeper

Start new year.
New Bible reading through the Bible
Genesis and creation

The Amazon River in South America is the second longest river in the world after the Nile.  4,000 miles long, Peru through Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean.  It contains more water than any other river in the world.  The Amazon is so massive it actually contains more water than the Mississippi, the Nile and the Yangtze combined.
The Amazon River accounts for up to 1/5 of the earth's fresh water.
In one second the Amazon pours almost 60 million gallons, or 100 olympic swimming pools, into the Atlantic Ocean. One days worth of water flowing out of the Amazon is the equivalent of 12 years worth of water usage by the city of London, every tap, shower, toilet and all other combined sources of fresh water consumed by millions of people for 12 years!  It flows out of the Amazon every day....
This massive influx of fresh water actually dilutes the ocean's salinity, or saltiness, for up to 100 miles offshore.  The water flowing out of the Amazon creates a brackish water system of a combination of both fresh and salt water for literally hundreds of square miles!

Ezekiel 47:3-12

Maklaklu a phodiso - Rev 22
The massive effect started with what they were doing because they felt it was what God wanted them to do.

Maxwell 360° leader 2006
Leading from the middle
Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization. On the back there’s a tagline: “Don’t wait for that promotion! Start leading NOW… right where you are!”

The Arabah, lit. "desolate and dry area", the area south of the Dead Sea basin which forms part of the border between Israel and Jordan.
The old meaning, was for the Jordan Rift Valley, running north-south between the Sea of Galilee and Eilat. The Dead Sea is commonly called today the Arava Valley.

Dead sea is known as DEAD for a reason!
This picture is about the effect God can have through us in a desolate place.

Our environment is pretty hostile. To God, and especially the church. Little grows

Food bank

Salt and Light
Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus said that we are "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world". Being salt and light is not optional.
Jesus did not say you can be...or you have the potential to be...He said you are.
Everyone who has trusted Christ for salvation and is born again is the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)

This is all about getting out there, doing the stuff, and seeing the society changed all around us.

The thing about wading in is you just don't know how deep you are going to go.

Deut1 Arabah
See, the Lord your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the Lord , the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’
Deuteronomy 1:21

What does it mean for us to take the land?

Ezekiel was led through the water.
Intimacy with God.

Random Samsung text during Dave Wades sermon
We need to be. It can be fruit pickers, carwashes etc. There is a place for doctrines and dogma and science and history and apologetics, but these things are not Jesus. Jesus is our model. Jesus and kingdom.

Nation changing movements were not started because someone had a grand plan and implemented it. Start small to achieve small purposes. And grow.

What does that look like?
When you secure Matlock you will take the peaks.
He means what he promised….. keyring.

There are no questions this week as all the Groups are meeting together.

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Carol Service

Peter Williams (Sun, 18 Dec 2016)

Peter spoke about what Christmas is really about and why the wise men gave the gifts that they did.

To view Peter's slides (in PDF format), click here.

During the Carol Service, the children and young people re-told the story of the first Christmas:

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Peter Williams (Sun, 04 Sep 2016)

Peter spoke about Joy.

To view these notes and questions in PDF format, click here.

Last time temple of God.
Yeah I know - andy and lou from little Britain
Leads me to joy.
Attitude can mean we miss joy.

Julian Adams fears too many Christians have been baptised in lemon juice.

UK girls becoming more miserable - study -

Somebody was trying to find out the Eskimo for Joy. The word is ""Plonkiput". It means, wag the tail furiously." 

   FF Bruce    Peace if Joy resting. Joy is peace dancing.

Adrian Holloway    Jesus did not die that we might have a new type of misery!   

The Spirit of the Lord brings radical freedom to our lives. Freedom from legalism, guilt, shame, condemnation, self-hatred and self-rejection. Freedom from the power of sin, selfishness, manipulation and control. Freedom from the fear of death and fear of what others think of us. Freedom from comparing ourselves with others. Nicky Gumbell

Why should we be joyful?

John Piper Christian hedonism

C S Lewis    It is a Christian duty for everyone to be as joyful as they can be
Depression sufferers, it should not define you. You are in Christ.

1Pet 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

What have we got to be joyful about?

If you are in Christ….
You were chosen before the world began
God sent his son to die for you
You are saved and will go to heaven
You will be seated with Christ!
That's surely something to have joy in.

If heaven and glory are so wonderful, why do we not spend more time and energy focussing on them? Are we reasonable in this? What is the matter? Are we so full of joy that we need no more? or is there nothing in heaven for our joyous thoughts? There is! So stir up your heart to consider your calling on a regular basis. The saints everlasting rest, 1650 Richard Baxter

How can we develop a joyful spirit?

The Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit. So be filled, and go on being filled.
Opposite, no joy does not mean you don't have the Holy Spirit in you, but means you could have more.

Choosing to be
Power positive thinking NV Peale

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Fyodor Dostoevsky    Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.   

Like love is cartoons, joy is....

Being Real
In Psalms they express their frustrations with life, but that does not mean they don't express joy too.

With the help of others
Others can help, Paul - make my joy complete

Creation - Piper
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. (Psalm 104:31–34)

God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond themselves to God himself.

God means for us to be stunned and awed by his work of creation. But not for its own sake. He means for us to look at his creation and say: If the mere work of his fingers (just his fingers! Psalm 8:3) is so full of wisdom and power and grandeur and majesty and beauty, what must this God be like in himself!

These are but the backside of his glory, as it were, darkly seen through a glass. What will it be to see the Creator himself! Not his works! A billion galaxies will not satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul’s end.

So we can get joy out of the stuff around us, but because it points to God. Not because of the thing itself. Ecclesiastes, Solomon, possessions.

Looking to God
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2Cor 4:7‭-‬9‭, ‬16‭-‬18

Where is your focus?

If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate! Nicky gumbell
Love sermon prep…..

Heb 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Praise and worship
Psalm 47:1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

Isa 12:6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.

When should we be joyful?

Ps103:2 forget not the lord's benefits

Adrian Holloway    No matter how bad things are there are always 10 things you can thank God for.

James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Jesus, for the joy set before him…

Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Questions for groups
What steals your joy?
What have you got to be joyful about? Adrian Holloway said “No matter how bad things are there are always 10 things you can thank God for.” Name 10
. How will you cultivate joy?
Remember, have you done a ‘Joy is….’ sketch or statement.
[If you have please let Peter Williams or Justyn Pride know so we can share it next week.]

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Peter Williams (Sun, 12 Jun 2016)

Peter spoke about evangelism.

Word association.
When you talk about Christianity what do people think?
When you talk about church what do people think?

Evangelism is a dirty word. It fills us with dread and fear, or others with excitement.
What do you think of when you think of evangelism?

What's missing or late in all the lists of words?
How could he not be the one thing that is first on all the lists.
We can be so distracted with church, Christianity, Christian culture, that we forget the fact it's all about Jesus!
When you talk about Jesus what do people think?


Jargon. Christian culture.
But should our culture not be totally Jesus?

We can do one of two things, Give people jesus, or give them wasted sewage. We can either point the way to the way or confuse them with a load of things that will never feed their need for God. There is a place for doctrines and dogma and science and history and apologetics, but these things are not Jesus - they are just humanly manufactured attempts to make people think that having the right idea is the same thing as loving and following Jesus. P26 Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1‭-‬5

Acts 3 healed in Jesus name.
Acts 4 tried for healing in Jesus name
Acts 5 tried again for preaching Jesus

Tell the story of Isa from the book. P133
Jesus and the stories about him captivate people.

I get myself into trouble for being too open and honest. People say to me I need to play my cards closer to my chest! When it comes to Jesus though…..
The problem is we shy away from being fully truthful.
What did you do at the weekend, or over half term?
I went to church, I went to a festival.
If you went to concert, you'd say I saw….. in concert.
I saw Jesus heal a whole bunch of people.
I met with Jesus and experienced his peace once again.
How different would the conversation be?

We talk about the church a lot. Now she is important, she is the bride of Christ.
But let's not deify the church.
Jesus is god the son.
Let's talk about him. Let's raise his name up.

Sam Poe "We are not introducing people to the 4 spiritual laws, but to Jesus."

Bill Johnson "Jesus, our magnificent obsession."

Francis Chan "Being a disciple maker means you will begin to look at the people in your life differently. Every person in your life is created in the image of God, and Jesus commands every one of them to follow him. God has placed those people in your life so that you will do everything you can to influence them. Following Jesus means you will be teaching other people to follow."

In the book Speaking of Jesus he does not call himself a Christian, and he does not go to a church. He perhaps goes too far, baby out with the bathwater, but it's his reaction to Christian culture.

So how will we do church, small groups, etc, to see our friends, neighbours, work colleagues etc meeting Jesus and seeing lives change?

J John "Jesus sacrificed 200 pigs to save one man. How much would you give to see someone saved?"

Jesus freak

Questions for groups
1Cor 2:1-5 “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
What does that look like?
How do we do that?
How should we change church and groups to be more Jesus focussed?

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One New Man

Peter Williams (Sun, 01 May 2016)

Peter continued our series on the book of Acts, looking at God making us all one new man.

Acts 10
No them and us in the church
All are welcome
All can receive the Holy Spirit
All can be baptised
Peter hadn't got this, despite Pentecost, so God had to show him.

‘The church was not simply a union or club made up of Jews and Gentiles who were willing to ‘bury the hatchet’, it was a new creation!’ John Kpikpi

None of us was created in the image of baboons (Gen. 1:27). John Kpipki

Phil Hardy Whatever you think of yourself and what you perceive others may think of you and you may feel weaker than others but you are indispensable. What you have to contribute is necessary and required for the whole body to function CitP 28/9/14

Joshua Harris The heavenly beings look down at the church, and they are an amazing family. The power of the gospel is not only changing individuals, but is also creating a whole new kind of humanity. In the midst of a strife torn world, a world divided by race gender class and political ideologies, the church is a city on a hill, where people who once hated God and each other become God's children and members of one family. This family expresses itself in practical, yet radical ways. p53 Stop dating the church

Priesthood of all believers
One man in Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Ephesians 2:10-22
Galatians 3:26-29

So what?
Spectacular church
We are all Priests
We are all ambassadors
We are all equally loved
We are all spectacularly saved

We need to understand this in our hearts and heads

Revelation 7:9-10

Questions for groups

1) In church life have you felt less equal than everyone else? Does this teaching change things for you? Does this liberate you?

2) At Catalyst in 2015 Andy McCulloch said “Christianity demands that the strong change, not the weak. Is your church oriented towards the strong, or to the weak?”

3) One of the people responding to the church building planning permission said “Whilst not all people using food banks, clothes banks and drop in cafes are undesirables, some are, and we don't want them hanging about and loitering near our residences. I'm also sure some of these people don't need these facilities of food and clothes, and just use it because it's there and it's free.” How do we feel about that, and how does church need to respond to this situation?

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Peter Williams (Sun, 03 Apr 2016)

During our All Age Meeting, Peter spoke about the sea journey and shipwreck that Paul experienced in Acts 27 and 28 with the congregation being the people on the boat.

To view Peter's slides (in PDF format), click here.

Luke spends more words on this than the ascension and Pentecost together. Why?
What can we learn from Paul being shipwrecked?
We still have the same God, who never changes.

Do you feel like you have been shipwrecked?
On beach, gasping, I only just made that.
3m rest for Paul.
God will not allow you to be tested beyond what you can bear
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Are we in danger of being shipwrecked?
Tempted to swim for it?
What does God say?
With Jesus in the boat you can smile at the storm? Not sure you can all the time.
But Jesus will help you as you grimace in the scenario you are in.
The spirit can give you peace as you draw close.

Are we so on dry land that it is not even a remote possibility?
Do you need to step into the boat to go where the Spirit is prompting you to go? Are you even listening?
Paul went where the Spirit prompted him to go. Do we?
To get to Rome was not a comfy trip.
However, if he had not done so, a series of Emporers would not have become Christians, and so world history would have been very different. The UK would not have heard the gospel till many centuries later.

So, are you prepared to be shipwrecked?

Shipwrecks happen in our lives.
Other people's decisions sometimes get us wrecked.
God knows....
He knows your heart.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
That doesn't mean it will all be plain sailing....

What would you save if your ship was going down?
Shows our heart. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God always keeps his promises

So what?
Are you wrecked, or feel like you are about to be? You need to know God with you. Perhaps you need to forgive God for letting you be in his situation.
Why am I here?


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