Category Archives: News

India-Israel Partnership Gala

News about a Gala evening being hosted by a Light Lunch regular!

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Join Jerusalem Channel Co-founders Peter & Christine Darg,
Exploits Ministry Trustees Dr. Tony Stone and Barbara Dingle and special Israeli guests!
For our:

Gala Israeli-Indian Ministry Partner Evening in London
‘Called to the Kingdom for Such a Time as This’

Sunday 20th September
6 p.m. welcoming drink at The Taj Hotel Buckingham Gate
3-Course dinner £40 per person
Dress: Lounge Suit<>

For bookings and further information email exploitsministry103@yahoo.com

Or ring 0843 557 4077 or 07770 348061.

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Thankful to be able to walk, thankful for life!

On Monday I will fulfill a mini-goal… I will have walked over 9km per day for everyday of the last month. It’s not a big distance, but a year ago on the evening of the same day, September 7th, my lovely wife’s birthday, I had a stroke and for a few days I was unable to walk without support and things to hold onto.

I’m posting this a couple of days before that anniversary, because Monday will be a family celebration… but I wanted to tell a story; to say “Thank you” to Jesus and to all those that helped us make it through the year; and to reflect on the beauty we find in the rubble of our broken world.

It is interesting that when I set myself my mini-goal I had not thought about when it would end, but during the month, Judith challenged me to be actively thankful for the good things we have, and as I have the pleasure of being able to walk (with my dogs) each day, the blessing of ambulation has really come to the fore in my mind.

But walking is simply one of a host of pleasures I have in life, all of which are a direct testimony to the grace and place of Jesus in it.

I nearly died at birth. Then, as a four year old I was hit by a truck in Serbia, (Yugoslavia back then). I still have a “dent” in my head and big scar, covered by what little hair I have left to show for the event. I know from my parents the shock of watching my limp body being carried to the side of the road… and I can’t help thinking about the image of the young Syrian lads who’s drowned bodies have in the last few days said so much about the tragedy of human history. So I want to touch on gratitude that finds the love of God in a world that seems to deny the truth of that love, but first I’ll finish my personal reflections. I am grateful for my mental health and the childhood I was able to enjoy.

Then at 15 I was given just months to live, my body full of Non-Hodgekins lymphoma. In obedience to the instructions on praying for sick church members in the Bible, I was prayed for. And my doctors had to convene a special meeting to discuss what had happened to me after the cancer spontaneously disappeared from all areas of my body including the spinal fluid. I’m grateful for that too. Sometimes people say to me “God must have great plans for me because he healed me” but I think differently, Jesus came to “give us life in all it’s fullness”, life is the wonderful plan he has for us all.

At 34 a mistake in a minor procedure left me, (a father of three young children) in a coma in intensive care, Judith was put on alert to rush into hospital in case I slipped off this mortal coil. But I’m still here! Thank you Jesus.

Then this last year  I‘ve had two strokes and while the year has been a real struggle for us as a family I’m walking, driving, teaching and still convinced of the goodness and kindness of God.

Not in a fluffy, cloyingly sentimental way that is based on my personal favour and blessing. Jesus was never called a little lamb, He is a slain and sacrificial lamb, the desire of God, ravaged and bloodied by the need for mankind to be free if they are to truly reflect God’s likeness. God’s goodness and kindness are found in his faithful but co-operative involvement in the life he has truly gifted us with, he respects our choices to do it our way even when he knows we will screw up and that we would be better off saying “not my will but yours”.

So most of what happens in the world has not been specifically planned by God, but every broken heart and stolen destiny has been lovingly planned for by Him. I realised it while under my own death sentence as a fifteen year old, I met Jesus in my fear and anger, and while I didn’t want to die back then, I knew the encounter had made me ready for it. I didn’t die, but I’m now grateful for the life I get to live not the death I avoided.

Whether we get 15 minutes, 15 year or a full three score and ten, human life is a fleeting vapor even by the standards of the universe we live in, let alone compared to the full stretch of eternity. And yet life is so eminently precious that the creator Himself just had to experience it for himself, and not in it’s perfection but in all it’s messed up layers and contradictions and he goes on experiencing it in and through us making every shaky moment matter and mark eternity in Him.

I don’t know the eternal destiny of the boys who drowned this week, nor of the 300,000 children that die from hunger each year, but I do know that their “Angel’s behold the face of the Father” and that their lives mattered. Because “not one sparrow falls from the sky that your Father doesn’t notice, and you are worth more than may sparrows“.

So I am so grateful for the life I have, the life I’ve had and will have, I don’t have life in Spades to use a phrase, but I do have it, and I have it in Christ! and so to quote Paul (sort of):

For me to live- is Christ, and to die – is even more so!

 

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Introducing HeartLife

Or… how to create the right environment to grow yourself and the people you  work with and for…

Don’t worry I won’t try and cover this whole subject in a single post, this is just the introduction but keep coming back and we will add “layer on layer, a little here a little there…” as Isaiah would put it!

Heartstyles team

You see, someone, (I’ve seen this attributed to various people, including Leo Tolstoy and U2’s Bono) once said “you can only change the world to the degree your willing to be changed yourself”. Actually I just said it… but it sounded like it should be a famous quote and Tolstoy did

say”everybody thinks of changing the World, nobody thinks about changing themselves” and Bono once sang “I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me”… so perhaps we can agree on the connection between the inner life and our worlds we inhabit.

Anyway, some years ago now I connected with a couple, Stephen and Mara Klemich who where developing a business development tool based on the truths of being human they had discovered as part of their journey of Faith with Jesus. Now I’ve met a lot of people with a sense of a big calling from Jesus, some seem to have a desire to have it more than they seem to have the call itself, but Stephen and Mara  had all the marks of genuine substance to what they believed Jesus had asked them to do. Stephen had many years of top level executive coaching and Dr Mara Klemich had worked as a top level psychologist in a number of specialist-fields.

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So for a while I worked with them as they developed what has become Heartstyles in the corporate world and HeartLife in churches and Christian charities. Click the two titles above to go to their respective home websites.

For information it is definitely worth downloading the online case study of how Heartstyles transformed Pizza Hut in the UK.

Heartstyles Grid

In a nut shell, Heartstyles works by starting with a simple measurement of every persons activity and fits it into a simple four spaced grid. The combination of measurement and “indicator” allow the individual to see how their behavior is either effective or ineffective in dealing with(growing) both themselves and others.

From this starting point each individual is taken through a process than can create real heart change, not just managed dysfunction… heart change becomes our natural state for the long term, managed behavior always slips as we get tired or just can’t be bothered…

And as this happens we find ourselves where I started this post, the world in me gets changed… and by that change the world around gets changed too.

Jesus Centred Life Course

Obviously you can explore the Heartstyles and Heartlife sites and over the Autumn of 2015 and 2016 Heartstyles will form a backbone of our teaching programme at Light Lunch and First Friday Breakfast. Or if you want to go a bit deeper with Heartstyles you can join me one Saturday a month in Westminster for the Jesus Centred Life Course where we will take participants through a personal process, or even contact me directly about bringing Heartstyles into your business or church.

I’ll also be posting regular blogs exploring related themes and insights as we work through this process with the West End Wednesday community.

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July’s First Friday Breakfast

Wow times flies, the dust has just settled on our first First Friday Breakfast and I need to flagging the next. So we will be together again on July 4th at 07:30 am at Bar Remo. Then there will be a break for August.

So I wanted to use this time to really shape the agenda for the coming season. To hear what would be most useful to those that  most want these breakfasts (and the lunches) to work and serve the Kingdom in the West End.

I have some ideas … but we want to see a community grow not just put on a show. So there will be time for people to share both what they do and their needs from this forum, plus contribute ideas and request services etc.

If you can be with us this July Breakfast will be a great time to shape where we go!

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Quick thought for next Friday Breakfast

This is a quick note to say that on July 7th I am proposing to ask a few people to share their heart and and issues regarding their workplaces … so we can start to understand each other, get to know each  other and be supportive. I’ll probably share a short thought… but I wanted to focus on us getting to know one another.

Please use the comments to feedback on this as an idea.

Christen
PS: Hope you’ve spotted the quick review on last Friday’s breakfast.

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Report from the first First Friday Breakfast plus thoughts going forwards

Well it was a great start to our new breakfast meeting. That is not to say that there weren’t things to lean and do better going forward, but it was great to see regular Light Lunch faces but also new faces too.

Paul SzkilerIt was great having Paul Szkiler with us and some of his team from A Call to Business. I was also thrilled by the range of people and occupations present, there where charity workers, a local councilor, surveyors, business owners, a dentist and church workers present.

Going forward on a practical note, we will probably arrange for a couple of breakfast options at a fixed price.. this way we give you a coloured token dependent on your choice of say Full English, Scrambled Egg with Salmon etc … then when Breakfast arrive we don’t have to disturb whatever else is happening trying to find out.

Then on a content note… I would like to mix up formats a bit… sometimes using a speaker and other times leaving space for input from attendees with prophetic encouragement and prayer as we get to know each other.  I’m happy to hear peoples thoughts on this too.

So if you came it would be great to get your comments, and if you might come in the future please let us know and ask your questions here too.

FEBAnd finally a big thank you to the staff of Bar Remo who had to get things ready a bit earlier and quicker than usual… they where very helpful and worked to disrupt us as little as possible while they prepared food and venue for the day. So once again a big big thank you.

Plus the Full English was quite simply awesome!

 

 

 

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The first First Friday! June 6th 2014

Ok I suppose on a Christian blog post this title sounds like an ad for a passion play… “The first Good Friday”… although as I think about that it sounds more like a film with Bob Hoskin about a London gangster who upset’s the IRA during the 1970’s troubles… but I’m getting side-tracked.

The truth is far simpler… After the summer we will be hosting First Friday breakfasts every month in the West End. An opportunity to meet and eat with other believers and/or people who are on a journey with Jesus.

If you’ve not been before… don’t worry, nobody has, we’re all in the same boat together.

Paul SzkilerSo on June 6th 2014 we will be meeting from 07:30 downstairs at Bar Remo, the closest Cafe to Oxford Circus Tube station. The cafe doesn’t normally open until 8am. So on arrival we can order breakfast … then we’ll worship together until they open the upstairs for customer. We will be the first people to be served breakfast which we’ll eat while Paul Szkiler chairman of the Truestone Group and founder of A Call to Business shares his vision to see the commercial life of our city transformed by the Gospel.

We really want you to be there! So please let us know if you are coming if you can, but just turn up and bring friends on the day if that is easier.

Check out the breakfast menu!

BarRemoMenu

 

 

> Click to Enlarge<

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First proper blog post

This is my first post for our new web-site… I’m aiming for at least one a week from now on.

So where to start. Well why the West End… In the borough of Westminster… There is a personal answer to the question, and a strategic one too. So first the personal one.

west endAbout three years ago I woke up knowing I had had a dream and as I woke up I heard a voice say…”It is about Windsor and Westminster” I mentioned the dream to my wife but did nothing about until two weeks later I received an invite to the Houses of Parliament, to attend the windsor castlenational Prayer Breakfast. From that point I found Jesus opening all sorts of doors for me in the Westminster Area.

Now I live in the borough of Windsor an Maidenhead so I found myself regularly in both the places referenced in my dream.

So that’s my personal reason for being involved in West End Wednesdays… I want to see a forum here in the heart of the UK’s cultural, commercial, civic and spiritual centre that supports people in their working life and service of these institutions. Over the last couple of years Jesus has opened doors for me into parliament, government, church and commerce in the West End/Westminster area.

And from a strategic point of view it should be clear already that the West End of London is where so much that shapes the nation originates. Buckingham Palace is here; the theatre and entertainment industry is based here; actually my first ever paid employment was on the stage crew at Her Majesty’s Theatre on the Haymarket; Parliament, Government and the Old Bailey are all here.

The City of London is a global force when it comes to finances, but the City of Westinster if a global force on so many different fronts.

Now if we are going to change our nation it will not be by taking control of these secular high points for Jesus, it will be by people called as salt and light operating in these arenas by faith. So it is people we want to support, people who bring a different spirit and authority into rooms and meetings that decide outcomes for thousands.

In my next post, I’ll start thinking about what the Kingdom looks like in each of the fields.

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