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Morning All 11th February 2016

Posted by Pete Hardy

12pm - Thu 11 Feb

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pin ball pinball top

Morning All,
I have to tell you that this morning I struggled to go out there and do what it is I do. I know that Christ is in me, the hope of glory. I understand that the Kingdom is here – I’m not waiting. I believe that revival has arrived and I’m simply trying to join in with God’s plans. But nonetheless…
Just before I went off to a school to do whatever it is that I do, Richard Backhouse – now there’s a stalwart in the church – said that on the way home from praying together last night he had had a vision of a pinball machine.
He could see the playing top of the machine and that a ball had been released. It struck one of the “mushrooms” on the machine which then responded by flinging the ball off onto another contact. All the while the score was mounting (that’s my bit, but I guess it’s true.) The ball went on making contact after contact until it reached that point where it could only, by gravity, return to the spring-loaded bolt that would send it on its way again. Here it would sit still until “wharump” it would be sent into action to make more contacts and release more response to its arrival.
This is exactly what happened on my school visit. I’m just the ball, but the contact produced one response after another – the kingdom of God arriving full of love and grace and power.
Jesus sent his disciples out telling them that it really would work. This kingdom of God stuff really does make an impact. Then, having made contact and released response they come back saying “It’s true! It’s just like you said! It really works!”
We have been given much and now it’s time to give it away. Oh, and if you are thinking, “I have been doing that for so long Pete”, well just take this as encouragement to go on doing it. By now, according to the writer to the Hebrews, many of us should be teachers.
Go to, and be blessed.
(And don’t forget to tell people that it worked!)

Morning All 9th February 2016

Posted by Pete Hardy

10am - Tue 9 Feb

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I’m not a kid.

I’ve been following Jesus for some 45 years.

It strikes me that we have a choice when it comes to what we call “Church”.

We can dress the whole thing up in religion and forget the power of God for salvation, or else we cast ourselves on the Lord and watch his love grace and power deliver the goods.

Church is not a holding pen for heaven.

The church is the people of the way.

She is beautiful.

She is the protective ark we sail this journey on.

She is a love magnet.

She is a giant prism refracting the manifold wisdom of God.

She is safely dangerous when we let the holy spirit run.

She is nothing if we don’t.

She is God’s amazing vehicle for Love, and Grace and Power – she is not pretty, she is stunning!

She’s a bit like my wife really!

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Be blessed.

Telling people good news

Posted by Pete Hardy

3pm - Tue 2 Feb

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I was sent this little note by one of the folks who call Poplars Church their home.
This person has not been with us for very long, but has contributed immensely to the work of the church. I left out just a few detaiIs in order to ensure a little privacy but the person concerned is always ready to give thanks for God’s goodness in carrying out a tremendous rescue mission.
I am with Paul when he writes that God has chosen foolish things of this world to shame the wise and the weak things of this world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1 v 27).

I would like to say thank you Jesus for sending me your angels to pick me up when I was feeling so low and down. Also for putting me with the right people and in the right place at the right time.
If it had not been for you Jesus I would have been homeless and living rough on the streets. I would have been walking round in all weathers – sun, wind and rain or snow, frozen cold with nowhere to go.
But now I have a flat that I can call my home and be safe.
I would like to say one big thank you to Jesus and my sister and to all the lovely people and friends that I’ve met since coming to the Golden Ball in Worksop.
So once more, thank you Jesus and all of you in the Golden Ball.
God bless you all and thanks.
I would like to say thank you Jesus for sending me your angels to pick me up when I was feeling so low and down. Also for putting me with the right people and in the right place at the right time.
If it had not been for you Jesus I would have been homeless and living rough on the streets. I would have been walking round in all weathers – sun, wind and rain or snow, frozen cold with nowhere to go.
But now I have a flat that I can call my home and be safe.
I would like to say one big thank you to Jesus and my sister and to all the lovely people and friends that I’ve met since coming to the Golden Ball in Worksop.
There will be more stories from the Golden Ball…it’s time to tell people good news and you are that good news story.

The story is getting out there…

Posted by Pete Hardy

12pm - Fri 29 Jan

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We were so very blessed to get BIG coverage in this week’s Worksop Guardian. Sophie the reporter was go generous with her time and then in her comments.

It was great just chatting when she came to the Golden Ball. My first “proper” job was as a reporter on the same Worksop Guardian. She seemed keen to know how I got from there to teaching and how it was I began my own journey with Jesus.

What we were touching, with both my own story, and the story of Poplars, is a huge story with so many twists and turns. What blessed me, was not that all of the detail turned out exactly right, but that the love that God has invested in us was seeping out of the words she wrote.

I wrote on Facebook the piece that appears below. It really isn’t any kind of a “put right.” It is what it says at the beginning – a “Thank-you”:

  • Thanks Sophie for listening.
  • Thanks Sophie for telling the story in such a way that we don’t appear to be a bunch of religious maniacs
  • Thanks Sophie for touching the real business of the Gospel – the love, the grace and then the power.

Anyway, here it is – my personal thanks to Sophie, and my personal thanks to anyone who has joined us on the journey so far. It’s also a thanks to Jesus and a welcome to anyone looking for home…

Thank you
Sophie Wills
sophie.wills@jpress.co.uk
for giving Poplars Church such a generous coverage in this week’s Worksop Guardian. You have been generous in so many ways. You gave us your time and your talent and your wonderful warmth of spirit which presented Church as a body of people taken up on a fabulous journey with Jesus.
I didn’t altogether recognise the man you interviewed and want anyway to fill in a few gaps. I feel that the intention and execution was nothing but wonderful, but the work isn’t my work. The work is Jesus’ and the workers are so very many.
I got in on the back of so many wonderful people – which is the real truth of all of our lives.
Poplars would not be without Derek and Mo Wilkinson – it was their home in Woodsetts which gave a home to the very embyonic Poplars Church.
I would not have been allowed to be changed by my Romania experiences if it had not been for Norman and Ann Daniels – pioneers and chief drivers of the work in a country that we all saw had been ravished when the borders opened in 1990.
The building called the Golden Ball is a home for the work of the church because of the grace of God expressed through the generous giving of so many and their stunning willingness to dig deep and then work hard – it has been such a joy to be allowed to share in any of it.
If there must be a leader then I am privileged to share that role with many older and wiser (or wiser if not older) than myself and I sit in the company of a younger group who will see far greater things than I have or will.
Thank you Sophie for seeing through the religious facade that has often accompanied any thought of, or discussion centred on God, Jesus or the church.
I maintain that Jesus was not given to bring us yet more religion. He came to give us life and the walk with him is electrifying in its wonder.
This is the real story of the Golden Ball because it is the home to the work of the church, and the church will only ever be that group of people – often the weak and foolish in other people’s eyes – who have allowed themselves to be wooed by God’s love, find themselves lost in his grace and amazed at his power.
Sophie, our time together was a delight.

Pete Hardy

25th January 2016 – a bit historic really…

Posted by Pete Hardy

12pm - Mon 25 Jan

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Poplars Church Worksop meets at the sign of the Golden Ball

 

 

 

 

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It’s a bit of an historic moment really. The Golden Ball has truly returned to its former name – the name it carried proudly for perhaps 200 years.
We meet as a church here every Sunday at 10:30am
We meet to pray here every wednesday at 7:30pm
During the working week you will find some of us “at home” here as we work on the building – there’s so much more to do but we have come a long long way in such a short and very eventful time.
We live under an open heaven of God’s blessing.

Morning All December 27th 2015

Posted by Pete Hardy

3pm - Sun 27 Dec

Blog Uncategorized

Great exp take what

Morning all,

“Fear not little flock for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12 v 32).
And so we move towards the New Year. 2015 has been so momentous in the life of this special family called Poplars Church. Many of us were together for the carol service on the Sunday before Christmas and knew just how special it was to be finally meeting at the Golden Ball – home to what we do from here-on in! (Of course, we still use the office on Watson Road and we have the drop in on Wednesdays and the yard sale on Wednesdays and Fridays all going on there until further notice, but our Sunday meeting as well as the “not a prayer meeting” and any other meetings will be at the Golden Ball. We will meet to pray there on the first Wednesday in the New Year at 7:30pm.)
Our children both have something of the prophetic in them and buy very special gifts for us. This year, Laura and Brett got me a “Great Expectations” T-shirt (see above.) Mark and Beth made a picture of a little boy reaching up to a high shelf – “Take what you need” says the caption below the child.
I brought both to the meeting this morning – God is not all played out yet and I feel sure that both the shirt and the picture carry significant meaning for the year ahead both for you personally and in the life of the church.
Having said that, I also think that the time ahead will be marked by a new kind of hearing and a new kind of seeing which will enable us all to walk in much more of the fullness of God that we have received, are receiving and are yet to receive in Christ Jesus.
OK, so we met and a few of these things were spoken of – very lightly at the moment, almost in passing. After the meeting, a few of us were still in the building – nattering and clearing up. Bob Evens, treasurer to the Church, called me and asked if I was sitting down. He said that in the collection, was a cheque from a single anonymous donor. This person – eager to see the building work continue to its conclusion – put in £50,000.
Continue to have a peaceful Christmas and let us look forward to a very, very blessed new year.