Friday, January 30, 2015

Grace and friendship

Sometimes a post is so good it needs to be passed forward immediately. This is just such a post.

No longer slaves

This song that I happened upon this morning blessed me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two ditches

I found Darrin Patrick's observations on church and culture interesting:

There are really two ditches that churches fall into when it comes to entering into and challenging the political climate—and culture, generally:

Unrighteous Activism

Some churches are tempted to think, “Jesus is gone, it’s all on us.” It’s not that activism itself is wrong, but it becomes unrighteous when it’s done without God’s strength. It becomes unrighteous when sin is reduced to corporate injustice. Sometimes the theology of these churches is more like deism. God’s there, but he’s not real helpful. “Thanks for creating the world. We appreciate some of these inspirational verses, but we’ve got it.” These “liberal” churches are really good at entering into culture, but they can easily jump into the prevailing stream without considering how the Bible might offer some critique.

Unrighteous Passivity

“Conservative” churches fall into this. For the most part, the attitude is something like this: “Jesus is gone, but he’s coming back, so we just have to sit here and wait it out.” This is how the whole evangelical subculture happens with it’s own t-shirts and breath mints (Google “testamints”). “We’re going to do our own thing, and hide from the big bad world.” These churches can give the impression that sin is something “out there,” and as long as interaction with the world is limited, you’ll be safe.

These ditches are why the church has lost a lot of influence.

H/t Jesus Creed

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

For the pod: How to respond to divorce

In my 'Bible in one year' today we read Matt 19 on Divorce. The notes contained a link to an excellent sermon by Nicky Gumbel entitled 'How to respond to divorce'. It's well worth a listen and using as a springboard for prayer or to pass on to others.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday musing

I have started reading Jesus our destiny which a wise prophet recommended to me

I read 'Tithing' by R T Kendall in preparation for our vision and gift season which you can listen to his teaching on here (and will save you buying the book). You may find it beneficial.

A pal is preaching a series entitled 'Man up' inspired by James Emery White which is seemingly going down a storm.

Matt Chandler is powerful on the sanctity of life.

Some friends who came to stay were evangelistic about their new eating habits and kindly bought us Helmsley and Helmsley which we are now reading. Sugar and processed foods are by all accounts v v bad and we should all be drinking extremely green-looking drinks.....

Bishop Libby Lane, a Cartoon about Bishops and Who is ducking what in the C of E

Some new mental health resources for churches

I found Ten ways to grow your church in 2015 a real springboard to lots of thoughts and creativity that is currently in process and you might like to use it to MOT your own church.

All paths lead to God

I've bought The Equalizer on the basis of this review (be warned this a very violent film and is not for the faint hearted)

I had a cup of tea with Tom who runs a great charity called 'Surfers not street children'. Check it out.

Finally, an episode of The Undateables made Mrs C and I cry.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Paul's conversion

O God, who through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
This is today's collect from the Book of Common Prayer which remembers the conversion of St Paul. It was a joy to read and pray as I discovered it this morning. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

For the pod: Whitfield, 'The main thing' and what it means to be an influencer

Last week I spent time with 142 evangelists and these talks are worth putting on the pod and listening to on your next car journey.

The highlights were:

All three from R T Kendall particularly the first one on Romans 1. If you are unclear on the gospel this will probably straighten you out. His third on the Ten Virgins is a prophetic talk that I found both informative and v. challenging.

Dave Smith on Whitfield was superb (he spent 7 years doing a D Phil on him.) If you preach you should certainly listen to both these talks. J John advised if you are going to visit any church in the land then Kingsgate Peterborough which Dave Smith pastors is worth travelling to. They had 4500 through over Christmas….

I also really enjoyed Phil Cooke on being an influencer.