Author Archives: Risen Webmaster

Blog June 30th “Financial Security – Part One”

In Times of Trouble featuring Lucy Stimpson-Maynard from the album “I Look Up To The Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

When I first became a Christian a teaching colleague, Dave Stevens started talking about tithing my salary. I admit to being most unsure about giving a tenth of my money away, especially as, at that time I felt I had no surplus with which to be generous. I could not understand Dave when he said that God’s economics are different to our own and that the more we give away the more we receive.
I spoke to my dear friend Bob Miliken who told me that God would not expect me to tithe straight away – it would be ok if it were a process. I thought that there was one area in which I could give money away and that was from the school disco that I ran called “The Heat.” I did not make a great deal from the “Heat” but what I did make I kept. So, I decided to give that money away and it was in fact very liberating – instead of only giving to charities when a box was rattled in front of me I was able to choose which charities, in addition to my church, that I would support.
At that time I was having real problems with the local youths who were hanging around at the end of the “Heat” and being abusive and even threatening, when the youngsters, who were all from my school, were being picked up by their parents (the ”Heat” was held in a venue about 4 miles from where most of my school’s children lived.) Anyway, the day that I decided to give the money to charity instead of keeping it myself – all those troublemakers just faded away – they no longer turned up and so there was no longer a problem. I felt that perhaps what Dave had told me could be true.
It took a bit longer for me to fully experience the principle that tithing results in you receiving more than you give away – i.e., God blesses you because you are blessing others, but I can categorically state that it does work and next week courtesy of “The Word for Today” I will explain how.

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Blog June 23rd “God Given Ideas” – Part Three

I Will Tell featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album ” I Look Up To The Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

So, one more “God Given Ideas” from UCBs “The Word For Today” written by Bob and Debbie Gass.
In What the World Owes to Christians, Dr Victor Pierce, an Oxford scholar, shares the story of the typewriter. ‘The typewriter was a forerunner to the modern word processor. But how did a Christian come to invent it? To write sermons. Seriously!
Christopher Sholes was concerned about his pastor who’d been busy all week visiting victims of an epidemic, comforting the bereaved and conducting funerals. Consequently, he had no time to write his Sunday sermons. One day Sholes, discussing with a friend what could be done, said, “It seems a pity there ain’t some quick method of writing for busy folks like parsons.” His friend replied, “Why not invent a machine?” Sholes responded, “I’ll try.” That rainy afternoon was the beginning of months of hard work. Finally a group assembled one day to see him tap out on paper, in capital letters, C LATHAM SHOLES, NOV 1867.
Six years later the Remingtons recognised the typewriter as something that could revolutionise business. In those days clerks were mostly men, but the Young Women’s Christian Association started offering courses in typing for women. Initially it created a scandal, but as the first typists to be trained were women, employers rushed to hire them. Hence the typewriter and the YWCA determined that a woman’s place was not only at home, but could also be in the office.’ Is it okay for me to pray for God to bless my business? Yes! God wants to bless your business so that you can help carry out His, which is the business of reaching the world with the gospel.

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Blog June 16th God Given Ideas” – Part Two

The Gospel of Christ featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band recorded and produced by Ross Gill

So, after a gap celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee its back to “God Given Ideas” from UCBs “The Word For Today” written by Bob and Debbie Gass.
One God-given idea can change so much. Braille sure did! In 1824, Louis Braille, a Christian, invented a system of raised dots on paper so that blind people could read. He invented 63 symbols representing every language, hence God’s Word was placed into the hands of the visually impaired for the first time.
And communications? In part, you owe your mobile phone and your computer to a Christian named Samuel Morse. How different the world was before him! First-class news took two weeks to reach the USA. And reports of a major victory could take six weeks to reach Britain. One day a friend said, ‘Morse, when you were experimenting did you ever come to an absolute deadlock, not knowing what to do?’ Morse replied, ‘More than once.’ His friend asked, ‘What did you do then?’ Morse shared a secret, ‘I got down on my knees and prayed for light, and light came, and when my inventions were acknowledged by flattering honours from America and Europe, I said, “Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but unto Thy name give the glory.”’ That’s why the first message sent by transatlantic cable read, ‘What God has wrought.’
Now add another Christian named Louis Pasteur, the French scientist who showed us that infection is the result of things we cannot see, namely germs and viruses. He introduced sterilisation methods that eventually saved the lives of multitudes. Think God has run out of good ideas? Not a chance! Ask Him for one for your life, your ministry or your business!

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Blog June 9th “ Moments of Sunshine” Part 5

There’s Going To Be A Party- featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the album His Story recorded and produced by Ross Gill

I will return to the theme of “God Given Ideas” next week as I could not miss the opportunity to share some wonderful moments from the Queen’s 70th Jubilee Celebrations.
Last Thursday Lee on Solent was absolutely heaving with people in a fantastic street party, typical I am sure of so many that took place around the country. One brilliant story was that Selsey Avenue, Gosport ordered 4.5 km of bunting by mistake with the result a sea of red, white and blue fluttering as seen below.

The concert was great with Adam Lambert (what a voice he has!) and Queen being a personal favourite. And, of course the Pageant with all the seven decades of Her Majesty’s reign honoured. However, the Queen, herself with Paddington Bear probably “stole the show” as can be seen in todays featured video.

Or perhaps it was Prince Louis – with a time honoured “gesture” towards his mum. I’ll let you decide

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Blog June 2nd God Given Ideas” – Part One

James Young Simpson

I Sing This Song Of Love For You – featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “I Look Up To The Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

For the next few weeks I would like to share some wonderful messages concerning “God Given Ideas” that I recently read in UCBs “The Word For Today” written by Bob and Debbie Gass.
Good ideas come from God, so ask Him for one. The world’s been blessed by those who did. Consider anaesthesia: how would you like to be operated on without it? That is the way they did it until a Scottish doctor named James Young Simpson introduced something he called ‘artificial sleep’.
As a student at Edinburgh University he was attracted to surgery because he was troubled by the pain and mortality rate experienced during operations. As a result of reading ‘And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam’ (Genesis 2:21 NKJV), Simpson thought chloroform might be the answer. He first experimented on himself. Finally, in 1847, the first three operations with chloroform took place. One of the patients, a young soldier, enjoyed it so much that he seized the sponge and inhaled again. ‘It was just too good to be stopped,’ he said.
At first Simpson encountered opposition. Some thought it was a sin to interfere with nature. ‘Hand me the Bible,’ said Dr Simpson. ‘This is how God operated on Adam.’ Simpson made speeches, wrote letters and pamphlets and tried to convince those who opposed him that this was the way forward. In a setback, when three deaths attributed to chloroform were reported from other hospitals, Simpson was able to show them that they were not applying the anaesthesia correctly. The tide turned when Queen Victoria gave birth to her eighth child under chloroform and declared that she was ‘greatly pleased with its effect.

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Blog May 27th “The Premiere Staged Concert of Theophilus -The Musical”

Bay House School and Sixth Form – Venue of The Staged Concert of Theophilus The Musical

A Time For Everything featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “The Season of Singing” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

Last week I shared Bishop Philip’s review of the Staged Concert of Theophilus -The Musical which took place on Saturday, May 14th. Today it is my turn and I begin with a huge thanks to all who took part.
First the incredible cast who worked so very hard with so little rehearsal time:
Theophilus-+ Priscilla- Natasha Bain
Luke + Aquila – Edward Baker- Duly
Peter – Richard Mellion
Paul – Mark Bernard
Mary Magdalene- Katie Forge
John and Ananias – Andrew Dovaston
Crippled man and Simon the Sorcerer- Casey Lloyd
Stephen the first Martyr and Julius the Centurian- Sam Townsend
Philip the Evangelist and Barnabas – Adam Collins
Tabitha- Mei-Ling Thomas
Lydia – ChiChi Uzodinma
Woman from Ephesus – Amy Millar
Imprisoned woman – Evieanna Mullane

Our amazing Musical Director – Joffy Girling
Our fantastic Tech team led by – Adam Kemp
All the support staff of the Gosport and Fareham Multi- Academy Trust
Chris Carter and the Gosport Music Festival for their financial support
Les Heyhoe for sponsoring the printed programmes
Bob Ellis of the Gosport Shed for providing the interval drinks
Kathleen, Freya, Tina, Darren and Ash for their brilliant behind the scenes help
We only had the Friday evening and Saturday to rehearse before the one- off evening performance. Friday evening’s rehearsals were challenging to say the least so to go from where we were Friday evening to Saturday evening’s performance was nothing short of miraculous!

Many of the issues that arose will be sorted with movement added, face mics rather than standing mics used, a stage set created, professional lighting, adequate rehearsal time, the script refreshed and the musical fully orchestrated.
So please watch this space!

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All you need is a mustard seed of faith and nothing is impossible

Theophilus The Musical (taken from Matthew 17:20

Blog May 19th Theophilus -The Musical – A Review from Bishop Philip

Next week I will give you my take on the Staged Concert of Theophilus -The Musical which took place on Saturday, May 14th. I definitely have to wait until next week as a Bishop’s review obviously takes precedence!

Last Saturday evening, Canon PJ and I were invited to a première staged concert at Bay House School, Gosport, of a new musical currently in development. Written by Ken Shearsmith, with music by him and Joffy James, it is called Theophilus, based on the character referred to by St. Luke at the start of the Acts of the Apostles. It basically retells many of the events of Acts and is designed as a youth opera in the line of West End hits such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph’s Coat of Many Colours. In Theophilus, the Gospel writer Luke is reunited with his patron Theophilus, describing how the Gospel has spread far and wide, yet not without many challenges along the way and some difficult questions such as how a good God can allow such suffering and how one can receive forgiveness and salvation. The musical comprises over 50 songs, many of which are truly catchy – I said to the composer afterwards that some would be great to sing at Mass or in Prayer and Praise. The event on Saturday was a trial sing-through before an invited audience, involving a cast of fifteen professional West End and Broadway singers and so it was top quality. There is now more work to do over the weeks ahead as the songs and stage-sets are designed for youngsters in schools and groups to take on. It was a great evening before a packed house, and the applause clearly shewed that everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.

Click on the picture to listen to one of the many songs.

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Mark 9:24 and used in “Theophilus- The Musical ”

Blog May 5th “Moments of Sunshine Part Four”

How Can I Love You More? featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album Love is the Way recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

In the blog of April 21st, I shared a video of Loren Allred singing “Never Enough” on “Britain’s Got Talent.” Her performance was amazing and she received the “Golden Buzzer” from Amanda Holden.
I shared the story as I genuinely believed that no one before had realised that she was the voice behind Rebecca Fergeson’s lip syncing performance in “The Greatest Showman.” It really did appear that BGT had provided her with an opportunity to show the world “the face behind the song.”
However, it turns out that Loren was already well known as the singer of The Greatest Showman’s “Never Enough.” In fact, in early 2019 she joined Michael Bublé for a duet of “Help Me Make it Through the Night.” She also joined Andrea Bocelli for selected performances on his 2021 USA Tour.
So not quite the “fairy-tale “we were led to believe and, in any case, not in the same class as the one featured today, which although now 13 years ago, still never fails to delight.

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Blog April 28th “The Staged Concert of Theophilus – The Musical”

Oh Lord Hear My Voice featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Where Would I Be Without You?” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

So, it’s just over two weeks now before the Premiere Staged Concert of Theophilus- The Musical. All are warmly welcomed to be part of an invited audience to watch and give feedback on this, Mustard Seed Songs’ new project. The venue is Bay House School and Sixth Form, Gomer Lane, Gosport starting at 7.30 pm on Saturday, May 14th.
West End and Broadway actor, Edward Baker- Duly, who has been helping me with the script for the past two years plays the part of Gospel writer Luke and in today’s featured video encourages you to attend with tickets by donation available from

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