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Showing posts from June, 2012

Lights Camera Action!

We have such an amazing team of people at Kerith who are each willing to use their gifts and talents, working together in such creative ways. You'll see it in the media, the lighting, sound, the sets, songs and so much more. I'm so grateful to the many people who work so hard behind the scenes and also in preparation for REAL. Like hours of work - and often it's for a 7 minute media, or a 5 minute song! The creativity and the end results are incredible, and they help us to connect with God and with His heart. 

This year's "Conference Opener" was no exception, from the concept and storyboard, through to the casting and filming, then the long process of editing. Dave has written about the process here and you can also watch the end result here - I saw it last night (one week on) and found it very moving as my spirit was lifted with the words, sounds and images.

As you know, straight after REAL we hosted Aaron Niequist, and were led through his Liturgy together. So…

One Week Later

Here are just two of the comments we have received about REAL:

Can I just say as a visitor to your church that your REAL 2012 was an amazing event and just what was needed I assure you for me personally - a family member had invited me
I am so glad I came - we as such do not have anything like this locally sadly - although there are nationwide prayer lady events that happen.


All of your volunteers throughout both days were so friendly and welcoming and so it didn't matter I only knew those who had invited me, because I felt like a friend of the family. During Saturday I was fortunate enough to sit next to a lovely lady and as one does got chatting about the various challenges that Shauna set us as did also Catrina. To cut a long story short we prayed together before the end of the day - no doubt prompted by God - which was a blessed time”

Another lady as she left said “ I know this sounds corny but thank you for doing something so real” It's so encouraging to hear people talking …

REAL!

What a fantastic couple of days! REAL was great on so many levels, and I can't quite believe it's over!

As a team we've been working hard to prepare for REAL, with these two prayers headlining all that we do:
"I pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something". 2 Thess 1:11
Prepare every space to make people feel loved, cover every space with prayer. Then let God fill every part with His presence.
and by God's grace, I know that although REAL is now over, it did, does and will amount to something in all our lives, because God was there amongst us, and because God makes things grow.

So, although the notes for my preaches have now gone into the recycling bin, I'm praying and believeing God that "His words do not return to Him empty" and that all that He spoke into our hearts will continue to grow. Our job now is to w…

Today's the Day!

So here we are - REAL starts today!!!
As you can see from the small selection of tweets on Twitter - excitement's mounting as we anticipate all that's ahead for us in the next couple of days!

I managed to dodge most of yesterday's rain and went for a walk. The sky was noisy as helicopter after helicopter transported guests to Royal Ascot. Apart from this week, you don't hear helicopters every day. The noise felt exciting, as many people were all rushing to get to the same place.

There's no external "helicopters" today for REAL, but all over Bracknell, the surrounding area, and further afield, there's the "sound" of women preparing to come.
Some are wondering what to wear - may need to wash something today, or find a notebook, or leave plans for the children. We're planning our picnic and our car share,locating the brolly (!) and planning what time to leave home (remember to leave enough time to park in a town centre car park and walk the sh…

Read on for Another Great Deal on REAL tickets!...

I'm so looking forward to seeing all the ladies at REAL this Friday and Saturday! Some of you booked your place at last year's conference, and have been anticipating REAL2012 for almost a year! Many of you booked along the way, some of you finally got round to it last weekend! Whatever category you fall in, I'm so glad that you made the decision to come and be part of REAL - setting aside that time to meet with friends and with God. We're preparing for you and we're praying for you - believe that God will meet you!

I wonder whether you've invited anyone else to come along with you?

You'd think I'd find it easy to invite people wouldn't you? What with standing on the platform and talking at the conference to hundreds?! Truth is, I don't find it that easy to personally invite others along, and I bet you don't either!
However, with just a couple of days to go now I wonder whether I could challenge you to invite?
Perhaps that means invite someone…

Friday Night Tickets Released for REAL!

Friday Night Tickets Released for REAL!
I would love it if all women could come to the whole conference - I really don't want anyone to miss out on any of the preaches, worship, performance items, stories or surprises! However, I am aware that some women have work and family commitments that mean they may not be able to be with us throughout REAL.
We want to make it really easy for you to come to what you can manage! So we've arranged some final week special deals, so that you don't discount yourself from coming along.
We are releasing tickets for those women who can only make Friday night of the conference.
Priced at just £15 the women will have a wonderful (packed programme!) evening. They will receive their goody bag, plus their Friday night snack, and will also play their part in enabling the whole conference to run - from enjoying Shauna's teaching, to faciltating the deaf signers that enable women from our deaf community to easily access the conference.
Tickets are n…

Practical Details to help your Planning for REAL

Well, we took lots of extra bookings for REAL yesterday at Kerith, which was great - and lovely to meet all you ladies! I thought it would just be helpful to post some practical details on this blog about REAL.
I like to start a new "To-Do" list on Mondays, perhaps you do too? In any case, I know many of us women do like to plan and prepare for events...and REAL is no exception!
So here's some information from Sue Ranger, our wonderful Kerith Events Manager. You may have already received this in an email, but it's worth a repeat! Let us know if you have any questions we haven't covered - we really want to serve you well and help you to fully take hold of all that God's got for you and all that we're preparing for you at REAL!

Hello Lovely Real2012 Ladies, We are now into the final week of preparations for REAL2012, from our initial plans last year to the practical elements we are now finalising we have had so much fun creating a wonderful event to bless …

Fill a Handbag for REAL

“You can’t have too many bags!” 
This year at Real we are delighted to support Kerith Social Justice, as we “fill a handbag”.
We all have our own “handbag essentials” – perhaps your’s include a mirror; some handcream and a pretty notebook? We’ve compiled a list of 10 items to fill a handbag. The gifts will then be presented beautifully and given to those women connected with our community that we feel really need blessing. Women are renowned for putting their families before themselves, and buying things for themselves last, if at all. The lovely handbag treats that you buy will help us to show love to women who are facing struggles, communicating to them that they are not on their own.
So, if you are shopping today or this week, please would you also buy something(s) from this list? -Fold-up Shopping Bag
-Notebook
-Pens
-Small umbrella
-Lip Balm
-Emery Board
-Compact
-Hand Cream
-Body Spray
-Mints/Sweets

Bring them along with you when you come to REAL next Friday evening.

Once we're at REAL nex…

This Time Next Week!

Today has run away with me! I've had a very varied day - with thankfully enough "spaces" in, to be able to enjoy the interruptions along the way (more on this next week, as I'll expand this thought in one of my REAL preaches)!

But I couldn't let today pass without marking it - as one week from now, REAL will be about to begin! We're so ready - the planning of course has been going on all year in one form or other. Now we're about to actually put it all on, and share it with everyone!
Just before the Kerith Office closed today, we received the exciting delivery of the conference programmes, which look beautiful, and are going to be both useful and inspiring, as they contain some wonderful real stories of women in our community.

I love this Bible verse, taken from The Message paraphrase:
...pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amount…

The Word of God does not Return to Him Empty

Are you following us on Twitter and facebook?
If you are, you'll know we've been counting down the days with fun facts and questions - today it's only 9 DAYS until REAL!

When we still had the luxury of 16 days to go, Sue posted this question:
KerithREAL (@KerithREAL2012)06/06/2012 09:58
DAY 16  Do you have your chess piece from REAL 2011 - Did you make your move? catrinabenham.com/2011/07/chess-…


You can look back at previous blogs, or listen again to the preach, but basically I finished last year by giving every woman a chess piece. We asked "What's your move? What is God is saying to you?
Then came the challenge to act on it!


Here's an account of the direction my friend Suzanne's life went in, when she considered that question last year.
As you read it, let faith, hope and expectation rise in you. God is able.
"Last year I went along to REAL feeling expectant. I arrived, notebook and pen at the ready, longing to devour all those truths I knew I would be …

We're Getting Ready!

Less than two weeks to go until REAL, and we're getting ready! There's been a lot of work going on for a long time behind the scenes, but now we're so close, it's more obvious - and its great to share the excitement!
My daughter's just come home from making beautiful decorations with a group of girls - the Kerith centre's going to look so lovely! My boys'  friends are hanging out it in my kitchen  eating flapjacks, drinking coffees - both young men totally committed to serving wholeheartedly at REAL.
And I've spent this evening in the company of some remarkable women. They'll be sharing their stories at REAL, so we were all getting to know one another and deciding the interview questions together. Their stories will really inspire and challenge you - and they are wonderful and real as they tell them!
I can't wait!
This week there's a lot of activity for REAL - so look out for it!
We'll be taking a few moments at each Prayer meeting (this We…

Cherish Conference

I'm away for a few days at Cherish, Abundant Life Church's womens conference. It's very rainy and grey, but that's not going to get in the way of enjoying a brilliant conference! The speakers are great, very challenging and inspiring. The worship is wonderful. And of course, all us women are hilarious - queuing in the rain super-early, then pushing and shoving to get good seats ( yes, at this Christian conference!) It's a real privilege for me to come away for a few days, this close to REAL (2 weeks today!!!!!) and it's a real blessing - I know I'm being fed and encouraged and challenged. You'll probably think these things sound simple, but God knew that they are just what I needed to hear this morning, as I worshipped and listened to the preaches. God bless you, this grey and rainy Friday - dig deep! x

Whatever the question or circumstance, Jesus is the answer

We have the privilege to be His voice and to represent Him

Our Calling and purpose are not defi…

A Typical Sunday?

(settle down with a cup of tea for this one - it's a longish blog on this wet bank holiday!)
I love our Church! I'm usually at all 3 Sunday meetings (although sometimes a bit tired for the evening!) and especially love to hear my husband preach.  Recently I've been asking God what He wants me to do for Him on a Sunday - who does He want me to speak to? All kinds of things happen to me at the end of a Church service. This week was no exception - here's an insight!
I was Site Pastor in the morning (it may not look like we do much, but seriously, one day I'll post the job description here, its scary!) but that means I lead us all praying before the meeting starts, I liaise with the Welcome team leader and the Building administrator - we talk about chairs and temperature, curtains and offerings. I'm also the one that checks the preacher has everything they need, and I liaise with the worship leader about timings and contributions from the congregation. The "up-f…