from Leonard Sweet’s brilliant, I am a follower.

“Sanctification” does not mean to try to sin less and less until you magically stop sinning some day. It simply means to become more and more aware of who lives inside you until it automatically spills over into everything you do.
So how about you and I become more  aware of who lives inside you?

1 Missional resources. Top class videos and other V3 goodies.
2 Six fear killing questions. Yep, ‘if failure were not a possibility, what would you want your life to achieve?’ This is one of the favourites I’ve often returned too.
3 Creative cover letter writing. Some inspiration from history here.
4 Yes, your smart phone is changing you. This logs some of the creep!
5 How working for the wrong motives poisons our creativity and warps our ideas of success and failure. Yes that’s it.

yDSC_0498_2

you

“Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

from New and Selected Poems, Mary Oliver.

0111

Group cycling, aka spinning is a reflection of the fall…..but it’s working for me in a love-hate kind of way.

The opposite of transformation is probably transaction. And we’re made for so much more than this……
A church that tries to recruit, offering the details of 69 planned management mtgs per year, will understandably struggle to attract Acts 2 ministry.
And the church that can’t detail in a few sentences what it’s looking for, won’t help in producing a 36-page profile.
Devil’s Knot is a haunting movie, Simplify is classic Bill Hybel’s wisdom, I want to have the gravel of the *new Leonard Cohen sounds when I grow older & The New Parish is a really important book exploring place, mission & discipleship.
I’m just praying and believing that a grace awakening will bring lasting change.
The north provided rain, strong tea, and labelled sandwiches made up in a brown paper bag. Top class.
Did I say I really miss snacking on Cadburys *treats!?
And my favourite over-hear exiting the afore-mentioned exercise class: “Now I can go eat a big slice of cake!” Not the finest moment of free-will ever, but……. go on enjoy that piece of cake, it’s the weekend!

BxMPnAoIUAAyQZW

“The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain. This is all God asks us to give our attention to and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.” Oswald Chambers

1 I’m sure you’ve seen it: the 5-isms of insecure leadership. Indeed. 
2 Five characteristics of incredibly resilient people. Yes indeed.
3 Guilt or joy,….it’s a no-brainer right? Don Miller’s take on this.
4 Five prayers that changed the world. Shakers….
5 Start…..go on,….. be one of the rare 1%!

goodness

I’ve been challenged to ‘pursue joy’ ever since 2012….. some weekend reading, has been calling me back to the book of joy, again.

”Christianity has been named, sometimes patronizingly, sometimes sentimentally, sometimes honestly enough, the religion of sorrow; but there never was a more complete misnomer.  It is not the religion of sorrow, but the religion which, because it is inspired by One who lives and was dead, gives the victory over every sorrow, even the crowning sorrows of death and sin. There is not in the New Testament from beginning to end, in the record of the original and genuine Christian life, a single word of despondency or gloom. It is the most buoyant, exhilarating, and joyful book in the world.”

James Denney. Studies in Theology, 1895.

10690264_10152257021991786_1059062633065396904_n

I continue to be asked about what constitutes my discipleship and ongoing formation. One invaluable part of my routine for almost sixteen years has been a spiritual director. The accountability, depth, insight and fellowship of these times remains….Sister Theresa played a precious part of this in my life for a clutch of those years…..here pictured with my son Noah some time ago. Our times were fuelled by questionable instant-coffee, ginger nut biscuits and sincere prayerfulness of heart.
Here are some of the scribbles from the journals of that time…..
  1. Bone-china mugs make any hot drink taste better.
  2. Times that are free of suffering are opportunities to reach out to those in times of suffering.
  3. Times of suffering are opportunities to glorify God and grow the most. You’re never meant to enjoy them, and sometimes they last a long time!
  4. Wisdom chooses silence over speech more often than not.
  5. Anger unaddressed, poisons every area of life.
  6. Funny birthday cards are silly. Just say what you mean!
  7. If you ever start to believe that people cannot change, it’s time to get out of ministry.
  8. See more in people than they see in themselves. Trust your intuition, even if all around is doubt.
  9. Use simple words to express yourself. Speak plainly. It helps to think for awhile before you speak.
  10. Linger near death, for out of it will flow resurrection life and undefeatable hope.
  11. It is wiser to be an asker of questions than a teller of answers.
  12. We are all God’s favourites, right!?

sister-T-N

“You said, how much?!” is what I called my talk from Matthew 20 today. I was cornered again by the impact that grace makes. Heres the audio file.

The parable of the vineyard workers is a deeply unlikeable & profound gospel challenge! The kingdom of God, is not founded on the quality of the people in it, but on the unrestrained and lavish mercy of the God who came and got us. Maybe you & I will only get this story if we embrace grace.

It’s about perceived justice, earning & mostly grace.
Attitudes are key.…..for the Rewarder should be enough to fill our hearts, not the reward. For Jesus is enough.
Grace-inspired gratitude & service matter.

Kirkegaard, Eckhart, Luther and Yancey were some of my inspiration in this preach on possibly the most difficult parable. I battered out almost 9,000 words in earlier prep, but only preached for a brief 27 minutes today.

So go on, here’s to loving with a daring generosity and unrelenting grace.
And yes,…… thank you Lord Jesus for your all-time, undeserved, all-sufficient grace.

1e0f83ab7ff3731eb3f4d93fbb8d1c85-d6lt54s