So here's my seasonal list. It was a curious year that saw many wonderful and varied things globally and locally, including Julie and I stopping drinking diet coke! Books still win out.... real books that is! Books I most benefitted from were You Are What You Love by James K.A. Smith, Strong and weak by Andy Crouch, Essentialism by Greg McKeown, Deep Work by Cal Newport, Brand Luther by Andrew Pettegree, Being Disciples by Rowan Williams, The Imperfect Pastor by Zack Eswine, The Seven Stories That Shape Your life by Gerard Kelly, The Pastor’s Justification by Jared Wilson, The Emotionally Healthy [...]
Alongside and distinct from growing homegroups I've been so encouraged by increased life-on-life discipleship. We're nurturing that in triplets and they're motoring! New combinations, unlikely combinations and kingdom combinations are popping up in surprising ways. Here's why I think they matter.... Up-close discipleship invites everyone to bear his or her weight. It nurtures self-leadership and growth in accountable ways. We want what God desires in his church, and that's spectators! Spiritual health comes through hunger and engagement. And simply put, prayer takes us to a pure place. Passive consummation and low-level silliness are diminished, when we sit with others and [...]
"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!
"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 [...]
as the year winds down.....here's been some of my favourites.....so what about yours? Five favourite fun moments: Walking with a church through pain and loss into a new and enduring knowledge of Gods love, Grenson vibram footwear gifts aka my new preaching shoes, sitting with others in the possibility and hope of new beginnings, the extended family goodness of eight of us holidaying in Florida and making sense of the calling of my life. Five favourite movies: A thousand times good night, Captain Phillips, The fault in our stars, Parkland and Calvary. Five favourite tastes: The discovery of Keevil and Keevil beef, [...]
Might seem highly unlikely.....for Christmas isnt' just busy but exhausting. Here's five tips that will help you to stay sane and to enjoy the Christmas season. From a seasonal mailing bulletin: here's the fuller resource. Tip 1: Remember to enjoy the message of Christmas personally. see Luke 2 v 19 for more... Tip 2: Remember that it's all about Jesus, not about you. John 1 v 20 for more.... Tip 3: Remember that Jesus is in control. Isaiah 9 v 6 is on point. Tip 4: Remember that God is in our interruptions. Luke 1 v 38 is the right kind of attitude. Tip 5: [...]
“The huge irony is that the more the gospel is offered in consumer terms, the more the consumers are disappointed.” Eugene Peterson 1 Citizen or consumer. Ally Simpson's perspective. 2 For your usefulness as a leader, please do read. Read more! 3 Transition, learning and leadership. Brad's story is worth reflecting on. 4 Lasting relationships require two qualities. Yes two fizzle unceasingly! 5 Spiritual formation definition and provocation.
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 [...]
"Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing: that love is bigger than anything anyone can throw at us." Anne Lamott 1 Philip Yancey tells us where the grace has gone. 2 Parker Palmer on what is and what could be. A few mins of video. 3 A six pointer reflecting on two different communication approaches. 4 Strategies for coping with long-meetings! Steve Tilley's playful insight. 5 Simon Parke reflects on change, and stains on the carpet.