The Hill Methodist Church


Posted 13/11/2014  


I used to think you were old at 25. Then it was when your children left school, now I’ve decided it is when your children retire.  Whilst at college at the ripe old age of 51 I did feel a real sense of loss as some of the younger students was engaging in the sporting activities I used to do. So how should we approach or get the best from our maturity. (If you are reading this and under 50 put it by for another day.)When asked how do you grow old so gracefully? Alexandre Dumas replied “because I give all of my time to it” if you’re over 50, let your age be measured by your spiritual progress rather than the date on the calendar.
The writer of Word for Today asks. How would you like to have these words engraved on your headstone? Enoch lived….. 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more because God took him away. Picture this: Enoch goes for a walk with God and when they reach a certain point, God says “it’s closer to my house and yours, so come on home with Me” Like an old oak tree a mature Christians routes has weathered life’s storms. But don’t take your wisdom to the grave with you share it with the people who listen. And those who are wise will listen because they recognise the foolishness of paying twice for the same information. I can still recall as a young Christian Howard Mellor principle of Cliff College at the time saying “the best evangelists are those in their 80s because they’ve lived it and their testimony has born the test of time” Advice for us all as with thinking about slowing down. Don’t retire-refocus.

Victor Hugo once said “40 is old age to youth, 50 is youth to old age. With God, availability, not age, is what counts. The Bible is full of accounts of those over 80 achieving great things for God. The Hall of Fame includes Moses, Abraham, the prophetess, Anna who at 84 along with Simeon another aged guy had the privilege of greeting the baby Jesus in the Temple. I don’t want to frighten you ladies but remember Sarah was over 100 when she gave birth to Isaac. Neither age nor anything else limits what God can do in our lives if we only make ourselves available. I remember one lady telling me the most effective time in her husband’s Ministry was when he was terminally ill and very weak but in that time he led more people to the Lord and throughout the previous 50 years.

The world respects ex-generals and prime ministers, but not ex-Christians. Let us do all we can to keep our bodies and minds open to fresh learning and experiences. As we all journey into old age let’s determine to keep growing in the knowledge and love of God, let’s walk with him, or invite him to sit alongside us in our chair. So that when the call comes to go to His house we shall go with no fear. So live for God until your lastbreath.

God Bless               

Rev Mick

Posted 16/02/2014

Leaders and Dictators

It is certainly trying times for those in leadership positions, especially where the country is undergoing considerable change. The ‘Arab Spring’ has brought rejoicing all over the world as we have seen former dictatorships gradually displaced by democratic governments. In some situations like Tunisia and Egypt, the transition has been relatively peaceful. But sadly in Syria, and just recent in Libya, many lives have been lost as dictatorial leaders desperately try to cling to power.

So, when does a leader become a dictator? Although seen as eccentric, Moammar Gadhafi was courted by world leaders like Tony Blair in the hope that he would shake off his eccentricity and conform to the standards of other national leaders. Sadly Tony Blair’s faith in the redemption of human nature was misplaced in this case and the awful bloodshed of recent weeks has been splashed endlessly over our TV screens. The sorry story culminated in the death of the man himself.

But, what is it in our human nature which can tip a leader over the edge into dictatorship? Looking back to the time of Jesus, we remember that King Herod was paranoid about the report from the wise men that a new king had been born. This resulted in the slaughter of innocent children in the vain hope that this new king would be eradicated before taking power away from him. And yet, centuries earlier, I think of Moses who wearily led the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years, enduring their groaning, criticism and lack of faith and then, when standing on the threshold of the ‘Promised Land’ was told by God that his time was up. Can you imagine what he must have felt like after all that hard work, to look enviously on the lush meadows to be told he wasn’t to enter? Can you imagine how hard it must have been for him to pass on the baton to Joshua whom God had raised up to succeed him?

Elijah no doubt felt the same. We read in 1 Kings 19 how his faith abandoned him after the contest against the prophets of Baal, when hotly pursued by Queen Jezebel. He cowered in the cave, sulking in his self-righteousness and sense of abandonment and watched as the elements raged outside but God was nowhere to be seen. Then, in a moment of awesome divine power, a gentle whisper conveyed the voice of God to this depressed leader. I wonder how much of his depression was triggered by the fact that Elisha was waiting in the wings to succeed him.

One of the facts of life for me as an Evangelism Enabler is that I am employed to do myself out of a job. Wherever I go, I seek to enable others to pick up the baton and take over the tasks I have trained them for. It doesn’t bother me in that wherever I go, there is always more that can be done – the supply of work will never dry up. But there is still the nervousness about the ability of others to take over. The perfectionist in me wonders whether they will come up to the mark. We all know the saying, ‘if you want something doing well, do it yourself’. But then I think back to when I started out.

I sometimes look back at the sermons I have preached over the years. I can still remember the first sermon I ever preached and can honestly say how bad it was. What must the congregation have thought? On the other hand it was also the most important because it allowed me to put my foot on the first rung of the ladder. John Wesley, apparently, would burn his sermons every seven years. Looking back on some of mine, I can see why he did that!

Another facet of good leadership is the willingness to be outshone. I am currently leading, along with a team of four, a new course called Compass. We rotate the leadership week by week. In preparation for last week’s session I looked at the material and thought how hard it was to lead. Fortunately another team member was scheduled to lead that night and she did it brilliantly – far better than I could have imagined myself leading it. Sadly, some leaders feel threatened if they are not the best at everything they do. Good teamwork relies on each team member valuing the unique contribution made by the other team members.
But leaders come and leaders go. It seems to me that we differentiate leaders from dictators by their ability, or lack of it, to let go of the reins and allow new leaders to take their place. As a sarcastic friend of mine once said, ‘the graveyards are full of indispensible people’. May I not grow so possessive of my role that I find it hard to let go when the time comes. If only Moammar Gadhafi had adopted the same approach, just think how many lives would have been spared.

 Posted 26/09/2013

Dear Friends      

We are now very much in the season of harvest. To date I have sung “Come ye faithful people come” six times. It contains the words about a Garner, this year to be sure what it meant I looked it up in a dictionary and as I thought it means storehouse.

The storehouse the hymn writer intends us to think of is heaven. Now to my mind there’s not much activity in storehouse, it led me to think of a comment one Welsh preacher made that as a child he didn’t want to go to heaven as he thought it would be one boring Welsh Sunday after another for all eternity. Or a cartoon I came across which depicted someone sitting on a rock in heaven complete with wings thinking” I wish I’d bought a magazine.”

When actually, heaven will be the most awesome place ever. The Bible says when God created the earth he looked and saw that it was good. The Bible also tells us that the end of time as we know it, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. God will recreate everything, all the things which get spoiled by human activity and sin will be done away with. Nothing impure will ever be found there. Heaven will only be inhabited by those who have had their sins dealt with by Jesus dying on the cross. We do not obtain it by good works but only through the love and grace of God.

I believe it will be a place of endless discoveries about God and we shall each experience new creativity and satisfaction in all we do. We shall each be at our best every day, as God will give us a new nature although we shall each still be uniquely ourselves.

For those of us in Christ Jesus surely this should take away the fear of death. The promise of God when everything is ready I will come for you. A lovely story I came across in a book entitled “A love worth giving” concerned a lad John Todd who was orphaned. It was decided that he should go and stay with an aunt. This aunt had servants and sent one of them to fetch him. The story was set in America in the early 1800s, so naturally the servant arrived on horseback. He was a big man, but with such a gentle manner which put John at his ease. However he was still afraid and full of questions as he had never met this aunt.

As they rode with John holding on to the servant he asked him question after question. Will she be there waiting up? Will I like living with her? Will she love me? Will she go to bed before we get there? All these questions were answered very positively. John was told she will be up and greet you with a lighted candle.It was as a servant said, John’s aunt was there waiting with a light and he was received with a cuddle, a kiss and kind words of welcome. John grew up and flourished in his aunt’s care. It was a Christian home and John found faith. He had a very keen brain and a whole host of opportunities opened up for him, but he felt God was calling him to be a minister.

Years later, a long way from home he received a letter from his aunt telling of her serious illness and impending death. Saddened he wrote back. My dear aunt, years ago I left the house of death, not knowing where was to go, whether anyone cared, whether it was the end of me. The ride was long, but the servant encouraged me. Finally I arrived to your embrace and a new home. I was expected; I felt safe. You did it all for me. Now it’s your turn to go. I’m writing to let you know, someone is waiting up, your room is all ready, the light is on, the door is open, and you’re expected!

As the Johns aunt so it will be for us if we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. In trust and faith we know Jesus is preparing a place for us. A perfect place, of perfected people, overseen by our perfect Lord. If we have faith in him at the right time he will come to take us to his Garner, to be with himself for evermore.

May that be your hope and confidence.  

God bless

         Rev Mick

 I write this as we approach Easter, a time when we think of decisions made for good or bad. We all make decisions every day, tea or coffee, which channel to watch on TV, what to wear etc. Surprising how little decisions can influence not only our own lives but of those around.

Yesterday I talked with someone who shared how her decision to attend an open house in the afternoon instead of in the morning, led to a chance meeting. Which has resulted in a very good marriage for her daughter and indeed all the family?

The bible tells us life is all about decisions, Jesus said we have to choose:

 a narrow or a wide gate,

a narrow or a wide road,

The big crowd or a small crowd

We can choose to

Build on rock or sand

Serve God or riches

Be numbered among the sheep or goats

God has given us freedom of choice in so many matters; some appear to be of little or no consequence, whilst others have effect for this life and the next. No more so is this illustrated than when Jesus hung on the cross, on either side was a man convicted of a crime. Both men had made bad decisions in life; got in with the wrong crowd, wrong behaviour. They now find themselves in the very presence of God. One of them continues to make bad decisions, the other perhaps the one good choice he made in all his life. A choice which ushers him safely into paradise. One good choice for eternity offsets a thousand bad ones on earth.

Why did one man decide for Jesus and the other reject Him we do not know? We do know when one prayed Jesus loved him enough to save him, and when the other one mocked Jesus loved him enough to let him. Peter the disciple who denied Jesus returned to him and was restored, Judas made his choice and hung himself although the love and forgiveness of God was there for him too. 

God allows and respects our decisions. This Easter season consider Christ’s appeal of love to you personally and make the best decision you will ever make by asking Him to be your friend saviour and Lord.

God Bless 

  Rev Mick

Posted 21st June 2012


   We are in the process of moving house again, the house is full of boxes and the walls have been striped of pictures and photos. The greenhouse glass has been removed and carefully wrapped, but no we have not got a moving date.


We just want to be ready when the day arrives and avoid any last minute rush when the removal van is ready to roll. It is only five years since we set up camp in Pearl Avenue, some things we moved with us have been in the loft all that time but are now seeing the light of day, lost items are being discovered, the car again knows its way to the tip as we ask ourselves why on earth did we save that. We have also added some must keep items photos of family some special cards we have received and keep sakes from our fortieth wedding anniversary celebrations, as well as the sympathy cards we received when Jeanette’s dad died.


What a lot of clutter we collect, this will be our third move in ten years, and you would think we would learn but sadly not. Amongst the items in the loft are my football trophies from my time playing in village football. I was so proud of them at the time, but now they sit in a box and until we move forgotten.


Much of what we accumulate in life is just passing, yet we can set such value upon it, as if possessions add to our worth a person. The fact is when I die I shall leave behind exactly the same amount as the person at the top of the worlds richest person list everything.


I hope also in our time at Pearl avenue we have accumulated some real good stuff in the way of friendships, of love given and received and built up in life the things that really mater. All of which add quality to life in the here and now. The most important of these for any of us is our relationship with Christ.


We this time are just moving up the road. I know were we are going. I to know my final destination, I’m sure not because of any claims I can make but because Christ died in my place to assure me and all who believe of their place in heaven. I do not know when that day will be. But I plan to be ready, I hope you to know your destination and the one who will move you there with no breakages on the way.


God Bless


                           Rev Mick



5 April 2012

Easter message from the Methodist President

In his Easter message, the Revd Leo Osborn, President of the Methodist Conference, considers the different ways in which people came to Christ on the first Easter Day. 

The full message follows: 

I wonder how you will be coming to church on Easter Sunday? Maybe by car, train, bike or on foot? I hope to be arriving at church by boat as I meet with a congregation on the Amazon River in Brazil! Some of you may be “coming to church” in your own home through radio, TV, or internet. 

But how will you really come? On the first Easter Day: 

• John came running, eagerly, filled with amazement and, later, with joy. 

• Peter came stooping, wondering: If the tomb was empty where was Jesus? 

• The two on the road to Emmaus came puzzling: “We had hoped . . . . but . . . ” 

• Mary came weeping, grief stricken: “They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have laid Him.” 

• Thomas came doubting: “Unless I see ….. I will not believe”. 

But, however they came, sooner or later they met with the Risen Lord. And, however you come, I pray that The Risen Lord will bless you with His living presence and lasting peace. 

Happy Easter! ENDS 

 Posted 09/04/2012

In my time as a lay worker back when I was working for my home Church I undertook  the statutory visiting duties at the local prison as part of the chaplaincy team.


It was a role I found stressful but on the whole enjoyable.  I got to know some of the inmates quite well and to hear some of their stories. One man told me he lived locally and whilst the prison was being built worked for a building supply firm who had the contract to deliver the cement used in building the walls.” I used to work overtime “he said “just to make sure they got all they needed on time. If only I had known if only I had known maybe I would not have been as keen”.


Would it have made any difference to where he ended up? We shall never know.  As we leave Easter behind this year it has struck me how the events of the season were planned by God. One writer in the bible speaks of Jesus as the lamb that was slain before the beginning of time, another author writes of the foreknowledge of God when he put the ore in the ground that the nails would be fashioned from. He comments from the time the women took the bite from the apple in the Garden of Eden the cross was on the heart of God.

Easter was planned as it was the only way God and sinful humankind could be reunited. It was at the heart of God from the beginning of time. The inmate did not know and maybe would have not chosen his particular delivery job if he had. Jesus did know but came to earth went to the cross for love of me and you.

Easter may well be over except for finishing of the chocolate, but the events planned by God with you particularly in mind deserve our consideration and response. Love so amazing so divine demands my soul my life my all. God’s love has received my response what about you?



Praise the Lord for web sites, a source of wonderful information.  At the push of a button you can discover almost anything and sometimes too much. But please do not get me on about Face book and the like. If launderettes’ took in as much dirty washing as is hung out on Face book they would make a fortune.

As much as I like them, I feel guilty when my last contribution to this site has been posted to long. I get gentle reminders, followed by not so gentle reminders. I keep missing promised deadlines. I sat thinking about what to write, got distracted and saw a survey on the desk a friend had asked me to fill in. I started then read the note at the top, telling of the return date. You guessed it I missed it! I had let my friend down

Life is full of “if onlys”. If only, I had said this, done that. I meant to visit, to phone, to write......But often it is too late. No more so than when someone dies. It is very common to ease the pain of grief with the pain of guilt over things not done or said. The answer to true guilt is confession to God and accepting His forgiveness, but false guilt needs recognising for what it is a very destructive force in people’s lives. If God convicts us it is because He wants to forgive.  If false guilt comes in it makes us feel wretched in every area of our lives.

Back to the survey.  The opening Question was “How old were you when you gave your life to Christ? For me it was easy, I was twenty eight. I can remember it clearly, even now when I am thirty four. The last question on the survey was “What one point would you make to someone who does not know Jesus as their friend and Saviour to lead them further into a relationship with Christ? “ Silly question really we are all different, having different needs at various stages in our lives. I would hopefully say something after listening to them which related to their stage in life. Our greatest need is to come to Christ, but this may manifest itself in different ways. My greatest need all those years ago was twofold. First to discover my true worth which came about with the realisation of how much I was loved, that the creator of the world had died for me and that I was immense value (by the way so are you-great isn’t) My other need was to find something that satisfied the empty hole inside me despite being surrounded by good things. I can testify that Christ satisfies.

But what if I am faced with a dying person, who asked me the way to be sure of heaven. Would I be able to answer in a way that could be understood? Would you would I be able to point the way to Jesus? If you or I failed in this task then it really would be too late. As Christians we all need to be ready to give the reason for the hope within us. Most certainly not in big words but simply and sincerely. How would you answer the first question in the survey? We will all have different answers, for some it will be a date ,for others a gradual realisation that yes Christ died for you, and had become number one in your life, He was indeed your saviour.

Perhaps you have no answer, you cannot say that you really are a Christian (someone who has Christ living in them, not church attendance or being religious) If so get in touch to talk or simply tell God you want to become a Christian. This is one thing too important to put off. It is a deadline we miss to our eternal peril and a missing out on the abundant life here on earth.

God Bless

                            Rev Mick




Age-Old Question

1 Timothy 5:1-8

Last spring, two 48-year-old twin brothers chose not to help their mother after she fell and hurt herself. The duo simply left the injured woman in the entryway of the house they shared with her. Police were contacted after the mother hadn’t been seen by friends for several weeks. They found her body in the spot where she had fallen—3 months after her death. The defense for the two sons, who were charged with murder, claimed the men had mental disabilities that prevented them from helping their mom. What a horrifying, sad story!

The apostle Paul, in his letter to Timothy (a young pastor he was mentoring), gives us the right way to answer the age-old question of how to care for our aging parents and loved ones:

Respect. Tender respect should be lavished on those who are nearing the end of life’s race (1 Timothy 5:1-2). Dignity extended to a father who is struggling with the effects of age and loving kindness shown to a mother who can’t reciprocate reveals that one’s heart is reflecting the very heart of God.

Care. Helping to meet the spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs of an older loved one is a part of a child’s “[repaying] their parent by taking care of them” (v.4, also vv.3,5-7). It’s something that God, who loves and cares for us so well, expects of His children.

The challenges and burdens of life can sometimes cause us to turn a blind eye to the needs of our senior-citizen parents and other aging relatives. Paul states, however, that busyness is no excuse for not being about the business of showing them respect and care. When our reserves are low, we can seek help from others and—best of all—pray to God for strength and wisdom in being truly compassionate care-givers.

In Leviticus 19:32, God commands us to fear Him. What else does He tell us to do in this verse?

How will you begin extending greater respect and care to the aged loved ones in your family? Why does God expect you to provide for them?

 Posted 15/11/2011

No doubt as you read this if you have children or grandchildren you will have been told what was on their Christmas list. No doubt some adults will have their lists or at least have dropped subtle hints.

As a child I would search through my mums catalogue to see what I would like (what could be afforded) I don’t remember thinking too much about Christmas until well after bonfire night.

I have heard stories of children’s toys being lovingly made with the start date well in the summer when toys were in short supply and money even more scarce. Now with online shopping you do not even have to leave the house and at a price you can get next day delivery. Perhaps you are a last minute shopper. But finding the right gift usually requires time and thought.

It was in the case of the greatest gift that of God coming to earth. It was planned before time. The gift Jesus older than His mother and as old as His Father. Why all the planning because it is what each one of us needs to live life to the full.

The song Mary’s boy child has the line “ and man will live for evermore because of Christmas day” Well a nice sentiment but not quite the truth it needed Easter as well, and it needs us to accept the Gift.

Take time this Christmas season to look afresh at the true meaning of Christmas, and my prayer is that you would open for yourself the greatest gift ever the love of God for you coming in a human form .

God Bless

Rev Mick



 Posted 21 /09/2011

As I write this message we are well into the Harvest Festival season.  It always holds special memories for me. The sights the smells in the small chapel I attended still remain with me. Also etched in my memory is the occasion when some neighbors took me to the town Church which held 400 people it was packed and they were bringing in extra chairs (not so much health and safety those days)

Today we know so much more about the universe, we have discovered more, through space exploration, and all the wonders of science, improved telescopes, the ability to delve into the ocean depths more of the vastness of creation is being revealed.

To my mind instead of these discoveries removing God from the equation it should cause us to wonder and adore this creator God even more. In the bible it records God saying let there be light. It goes on to describe in an unscientific way the sun and moon and stars being formed. In another part of the bible in a throwaway line it says of God He made the stars also. An article I read estimated the number of stars which we now know exist, (even as I write no doubt more are being discovered.) The writer estimated that there are enough stars for each person on earth to own1.5 trillion each.

That is one big Universe numbers beyond my comprehension. It can make God seem very impersonal, unapproachable and yet the same bible tells us He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.   Any notion of God not caring is dispelled in God coming to earth as a baby in Jesus Christ.

In these days of disposable everything, we can feel worthless. If you are not up with the latest technology you can be made to feel totally inadequate. It is good to know at the very centre of this universe is a God bigger than anything we can imagine, but tender enough to care for all he has made. Who in Jesus invites us to experience a very special relationship.

An unseasonal ending, O come let us adore Him

                              God Bless Mick



 Lord, it would be nice if our lives worked like computers.

We'd like to DELETE the mistakes we make or things we don't enjoy.

We'd like to press the SPACE BAR to FAST FORWARD through hard times.

We'd like to SAVE happy times.

Help us to listen to your INPUT

And may the OUTPUT of our mouths and lives be pleasing to you.

May we put your word in our MEMORY.



 Changing Our Priorities To Spend More Time In Prayer.

  1. Get up a little earlier and use that for a time of prayer.
  2. Use the journey to and from work or school to pray.
  3. Replace half an hour of TV with prayer and bible reading.
  4. Pray as you wash up.
  5. Go for a walk and pray as you go.

 From the mouths of babes. Best explanation I have ever heard or read.

          THIS IS FABULOUS!!!

It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in
Chula Vista , CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework
assignment, to 'explain God.' I wonder if any of us could have done as well?(and he had such an assignment, in California , and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen!)

                           EXPLANATION OF GOD:

'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'

'God's second most important job is listening to prayers An awful lot
of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at
times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or
TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a
terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to
turn it off.'

'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which
keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going
over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you
couldn't have.'

'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are
any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come to our

'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on
water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who
didn't want to learn about God.. They finally got tired of him
preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind,
like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what
they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.'

'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his
hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road any more. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.'

'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.'

'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!

Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like
going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come
out at the beach until noon anyway.'

'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be
very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like
to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.'

' shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I
figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

And...that's why I believe in God.'

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