August Update - 2021


Welcome to the new Romans 15:8 blog for August. I am writing this blog a few days after returning from holiday and a month after the CMJ conference at The Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick.

The feedback from the conference has been extremely positive. There was a real appreciation for the ministry teaching of J.John along with the depth and range of the conference programme. Along with this several participants noted the sense of welcome and the LORD’s presence which abounded during the weekend. For all of this and more we take encouragement and give thanks to the LORD.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog and you will take the opportunity to purchase some of the teaching resources from the conference. see our online shop -

With kind regards and shalom


Ministry News Update

In addition to the annual conference, I had the privilege of preaching at the Tree of Life Messianic Fellowship (via Zoom) at their eve of Shabbat service on 13th August. A recording of my talk is available from the Tree of Life website.

I am also delighted to share that our new community-based evangelist Oliver will be starting his ministry with CMJ on 6th September. His CMJ email is . Please pray for him as he starts this new 23-month ministry project.

Also, next month marks the start of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) New Year is on the 7th September and this date marks the start of the Days of Awe leading up to Yom Kippur. CMJ once again is producing an excellent prayer resource (based on readings from Jeremiah) to guide us through these days. If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be sent copies of this resource, please phone the CMJ office on 01623-883960. Alongside this CMJ will be sharing in a prayer event on Yom Kippur. This will take place in a central London venue on 16th September. Please see our website for details. I look forward to meeting you at this prayer event.

Book News

This month I would like to bring to your attention a book I read a few weeks ago. The book is The Murder of William of Norwich- The origins of the Blood Libels in Medieval Europe by E.M. Rose (Oxford University Press, 2015).

This book is very readable, and it flows in places more like a ‘who done it’ novel rather than as a historical study. Rose skilfully introduces key people and sets them within the context of the Second Crusade and within the geographical contexts of Medieval (mid-twelve century) Norwich, Gloucester, Blois (a hillside city on the Loire River in central France), Bury St Edmunds and Paris.  

The trial of the alleged killers of William characterised the Jewish community as killers of Christ and William as a holy innocent, and as a type of Christ based on his physical suffering. 

I found this book both disturbing and moving as I was confronted with the origins of the Blood Libels rooted in the murky connections between politics, economics, theology, and spirituality.

This book is very well researched and for me living in the Cambridge area I found the focus on Norwich and Bury St Edmunds offered an additional level of connection.

Sadly, in our ongoing stand against anti-Semitism the absurd and evil reality of the Blood Libel remains. This will be demonstrated in a forthcoming Olive Press Research Paper (OPRP)by Fran Waddams which will focus on the Damascus Affair. I therefore recommend The Murder of William of Norwich as both a tool for understanding a historical context but also as giving an insight into an ongoing spiritual battle.

Monthly Memory Verse

For thus says ADONAI: “Sing aloud with joy for Jacob! Shout with the chief of the nations! Proclaim, give praise, and say: ‘ADONAI save your people, the remnant of Israel!’

(Jeremiah 31:7- Text from the Messianic Jewish Family Bible-Tree of Life Version)

Teaching Reflection of the Month

I want to promote within my teaching reflection of the month the teaching materials from this year’s conference. The online shop is stocking all of J.John’s teaching sessions (three full sessions) plus five workshops. The five workshops are:

  • Answering Replacement Theology   - Thomas Fretwell
  • Reclaiming the Sabbath     - David Hoffbrand
  • Worshipping in the Wilderness   - Joe Gisbey
  • On the Eve of Destruction: A historical study and reflection of Poland’s Jewish community in the 1930’s – David Pileggi
  • The KESHER course: Introducing Christians to their Jewish roots - Roy Thurley

I had the privilege of chairing the workshop led by Thomas Fretwell which was excellent. It covered a wide range of material both theological and Biblical. I would have loved the opportunity to attend all these workshops as reports from colleagues and the feedback CMJ received from attendees has been very positive. If only I could develop the ability to be omnipresent!

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