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five on Friday

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5 v 1-2

1 Don’t be defined by what you’re against: its about embracing Jesus!
2 A great summary of the themes of Dallas Willard’s life and legacy.
3 “The Spirit is like a bird, fragile alloy of heaven” Spirit break out……. 
4 Don’t be a practical atheist! Small things matter….
5 If you don’t plan your life…..someone else will? Focus!

 

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tangible

From The Tangible Kingdom, by Hugh Halter.

“The incarnational big-story gospel will require a place of discovery, where people will be able to see the truth before they hear about it. This place will not be a location but a community of people who are inclusive of everyone. These people will be making eternity attractive by how they live such selfless lives now, and will be modelling life in a New Kingdom in ways that will make it easy for other people to give it a try.

People like this aren’t desperate to convert everyone; they are desperate to be like Christ and to be where Christ is. Their heartbeat to be transformed into the image of Christ, and to pray and work for little specks of transformation in everyone and everything they touch. Success is faithfulness. The rest is up to God.” Its tangible or bust!

five on Friday

“Why did Jesus Christ sacrifice himself to the point of death? Faith answers – to expiate for our sins. Why did he rise in such splendour? To show us the meaning of our redemption. In his death, we recall that we were dead because of sin. In his resurrection instead we have a perfect example of our resurrection in grace. Since Jesus Christ rose immortal to a life of glory, we must say with St. Paul that we too must rise immortal in the life of grace, firmly resolved to never again subject our souls to spiritual death.”  St Pio of Pietrelcina

1 The changing landscape of faith in Britain. By 2050 it’ll have shifted significantly.
2 So what do you love about your church? Here’s five from someone else.
3 A thoughtful piece on the dangers of missionary atheism by John Gray at the Guardian.
4 Vulnerability and the hero-complex in our disciple-making. Well said.
5 Healthy things grow….. further angles on discipleship.

5

Easter

Easter Day celebrations are the best and truest.
To join with others. To be caught up in the joy of Jesus is the best thing!

And here’s a prayer written for our Easter Day, evening worship….

“When everything was dark
and it seemed that the sun would never shine again,
your love broke through.
Christ is risen!

Your love was too strong,
too wide,
too deep
for death to hold.
Christ is risen!

The sparks cast by your love
dance and spread
and burst forth
with resurrection light.
Christ is risen!

Gracious God,
We praise you for the light of new life
made possible through Jesus.
We praise you for the light of new life
that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.
We praise you for the light of new life
that continues to shine in our hearts today.
For Christ is risen!

We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.
Because Christ is risen, Amen.”

Easter Cross ECN 2015

palm sunday

“And you shall take to you on the first day the fruits of the fairest tree, and branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook: And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 23:40
“Jesus found a donkey and sat upon it, as Scripture says: Do not fear, city of Zion! See, your king is coming, sitting on the colt of a donkey!” – John 12:14
“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” – William Penn
Remember Palm Sunday tells us… its the cross that is the true tree of life.
“Palm Sunday is like a glimpse of Easter. It’s a little bit joyful after being sombre during Lent.” – Laura Gale
“Lord, we lift up your name. With hearts full of praise; Be exalted, O Lord my God! Hosanna in the highest!” – Carl Tuttle

palm crosses

five on Friday

“Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.”
N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope

1 Ten joy stealers in pastoral ministry. Indeed. 
2 The church of TED. Yes because…..
3 Seven habits of pastors that matter for the kingdom. So helpful. 
4 When we’re feeling prayerless, what Piper sugguests we do.
5 Ministry diagnostics and some insight from Nancy Ortberg

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five on Friday

“Most churches have not developed a good way of combining spiritual formation with missional living. That’s a capacity issue. It’s one thing to want to see your people move forward; it’s another to have the calling to actually move them forward. As the leader, you may be gifted to move into this personally, but if you don’t have a plan to baby step your people forward, your capacity is limited.” Hugh Halter

1 Nine marks of an unhealthy church. DeYoung on a great list here.
2 Ways to alienate strangers from your local church. As if ideas are needed.
3 Kierkegaard’s lovely parable of the King & the Maiden
4 A starter reading list of impact for contemplative activists.
5 The fun of learning and loving the ‘British way.’

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today

sees us clamour a little…….
My heroically lovely sister claims more of the *green than me!!
My passport says British, like hers but we’re never going to get tribal in the kingdom of God, but on St Patricks day, it’s always going to be colourful and predictable on social media.
Lincoln said it earliest and wittiest today! “My three favourite Irish saints are called Hatrick!”
Reflecting on Patricks words of confession are worth a few moments here.
I was called back to these words of Patrick….
“O God, give me of Thy wisdom,
O God, give me of Thy mercy,
O God, give me of Thy fullness,
And of Thy guidance in face of every strait.
O God, give me of Thy holiness,
O God, give me of Thy shielding,
O God, give me of Thy surrounding,
And of Thy peace in the knot of my death.”
There’s many better things to drink than Guinness and let’s be those who follow God whole-heartedly. Thats true legacy.

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five on Friday

“Truth lies in character. Christ did not simply speak the truth; He was truth. truth through and through, for truth is a thing not of words but of life and being” FW Robertson.

1 Discipleship and the spaces we’re invited to belong in. 
2 Ten things pastors rarely want to hear, here!
3 Jane Williams brief lecture on adoption, the church family & theology. 
4 The rocks of evangelism are being challenged.
“The best decision anyone can ever make is to be a follower of Jesus Christ.”  Brilliant words from Archbishop Justin in the Lambeth Lecture

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