“For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love.” From Brennan Manning's The [...]
Lines from others in the last few days. Who says life is boring....?! 'The Holy Spirit often likes to turn up and say boo!' From a vicar friend, "Stalk me on Facebook but don't look me up on Crockfords!" Have we become more salt and vinegar, than salt and light people? Nobody actually eats welsh cakes in Wales anymore, do they? "Can we bring Octobers weather back please, urgently and now!?" Indeed it is.....the love of God is really changing me. I've got to retrain my face to not look so grumpy! God blesses the moving ship, and I'm not [...]
"When we learn to read the story of Jesus and see it as the story of the love of God, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves—that insight produces, again and again, a sense of astonished gratitude which is very near the heart of authentic Christian experience. " N.T. Wright 1 Really do you need a church website? Usual thinking on it's head! 2 Steve Addison's alternative to doom & gloom. It's mission or bust! 3 "Anointing does not mean God's approval." Needed challenge here. 4 Ministry temptations well-named here, and Bill Hybels hard-fought leadership lessons. 5 Filled and led in [...]
“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%!
“Go on, but only buy what you need.” These are almost always the words, I hear if I’m heading to do the supermarket run. And my wife is right! Consumerism is not a pathway to joy and meaning in life. This isn’t new. We all feel it to be true. If specifically asked the question, nobody would ever say the secret to a joyful, meaningful life is to buy lots of stuff. Deep down, we know we were made for something bigger: something more significant than passing consumption. Nobody really believes happiness is directly tied to the number of things [...]
Some things from the life of Jesus, from my rummage in the gospels this week. Four things, not a preach here. Just an intriguing pattern worthy of our attention. 1 Jesus spent time enjoying long meals with people. 2 Jesus went to lots of parties with people. 3 Jesus spent time going on long walks with people. 4 Jesus went on edgy adventures with his disciples. Lots of 'with'-ness. Lots for us to imitate.
Here's another quote from Andy Crouch's really excellent book "Why is power a gift? Because power is for flourishing. When power is used well, people and the whole cosmos come more alive to what they were meant to be. And flourishing is the test of power." Here's to more of that healthiness.....
Movements that change the world, by Steve Addison is a great book. And here's some of my favourite parts. "Movements are informal groups of people with an agenda for change. They have leading figures but no one person in control. Movements make history. "Movements change people, and changed people change the world." "The New Testament is a missionary document........The church, in its very essence, is a missional movement…." Mission has a threefold reality: a message, communication of truth and a new way of life, and the purpose of conversion. Each new movement has a unique contribution to make to the [...]
Great conversations, depth, frustration, pain, hope and confidence in Jesus, were all part of life today with others. I was challenged as to how worry for each of us, wars with our trust in God. Still thankful for the privilege of yesterdays wedding, and the gift of preaching 1 Corinthians 13. Love is indispensable, love is action, love enables us to move from childhood to adulthood and love reminds us what is most important. This morning having a great wrestle with Matthew 10 v 1-20, an immense passage. I preached a six-pointer: So keep moving, trust God and if in doubt – [...]