Decent amounts of reading make for a great holiday tradition for me. Here's what I've read recently.... and here's the headlines if they're of interest to you?! Yes some of you have asked, so here's the titles, how I rated it out of 5, a simple one sentence summary and a favourite sentence quote. Just a takeaway... Sandcastle Kings, Rich Wilkerson Jr 2.5* A surprising rummage in Luke 7 around longings, lack and the lordship of Jesus Christ. p45 "In scripture two things amaze Jesus. Great faith and lack of faith. When Jesus looks at your life, what does he [...]
Today #snowstoppedplay and it was a little bit gutting to have weather affect our last full Sunday at Emmanuel. Some great preaching ideas were on the slate, and lots of you asked,...so here's my full notes and slides. The Apostle Paul's awesome finish and motivation for Timothy was what I sought to work with this morning - life and death, meaning and calling, faith and reward impacted me in a whole new way. Here's my my preaching notes, and my slides for this. Tonight I'd have been sharing the preaching with Kathryn from Philippians 3, Paul's searing focus on one thing, and [...]
Today I got that Luke 12 portion that looks full into the face of worry and how practical Jesus is in speaking about this. Fear refuses to trust God. I was challenged how much the perspective of our confidence in our heavenly father, our faith and the nature of our promised future should change everything! Here's my transcript notes, and the powerpoint slides...
Eugene Peterson serves up another treat in his newest title. This forty-nine part delight directs us to lives of congruence and fruitfulness as disciples of Christ. These forty-nine chapters are former sermons gathered around the writings of key bible leaders. The shape and flow of these are measured, weighty and inspiring. Peterson’s gift is wisely weighted words. This book drips with wisdom and is full of life. His heartbeat for the gospel is gently and winsomely proclaimed, “Always and everywhere in Scripture our attention is brought back to the central fact: God is a person; God makes persons; God remakes [...]
During last Sunday’s talk from Luke 3 we saw that after Jesus is baptised and at prayer, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him and the Heavenly Father declares Him to be his Son as well as Servant. “Heaven was opened.” The baptism opens communication with heaven, that is, with God. Being earthbound is no longer a barrier. This is why faith in Jesus is so beautifully important. As God’s children we have instant access to him and his grace. Jesus underwent baptism not because he sinned, as we do, and needed forgiveness, but because he identified so much with us [...]
and here's the handout from our new years eve gathering..... I'm still chewing over questions 1 & 3 that I scribbled up for us all. What did you love most in 2016? and How might you better follow Jesus tomorrow and in all of the 2017? So what are you intending in 2017? Spend it well....
I groan when I’m asked “Are you ready for Christmas?” It seems to get earlier and earlier each year. However, Christmas is God’s preparation to meet us. No-one looked forward to the first Christmas more than God. For all eternity He set his heart and mind to coming, dwelling, loving, revealing himself and redeeming humankind at Christmas. Nothing would have stopped him. The detail of God’s preparation, patient waiting and the oversight of all the characters makes for an unforgettable Christmas story. It unfolds with majesty and purpose. It’s the story that has defined history. The shepherds were instructed to [...]
The invitation of God for us is abundance. Always. We hear the well-known patter of John 10v10, and the promise of life to the full in Jesus, or we recall childhood exuberance in the singing, “Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty….” And yet we can feel lost to this truth of God’s abundance. Sunday night’s passage called me back to this strongly. John 2 sees another encounter with Jesus surrounded by wedding day disappointment due to a wine deficiency! Each of the huge six stone water pots, about the full height of an average man, would [...]
Waking up today was like no other. Here's one of my favourite Psalms, reworked....... God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, whatever the economic predictions, whatever the governmental shifts. The FTSE and share numbers need not trouble us. Though layers of turbulence and uncertainty lie ahead. Though Cameron, Farage and Boris would falter There is a sure-place, a confidence we have in our one-true-God. The never-failing promises of God in Jesus will prevail, Heaven isn't insecurely fragile as though under threat. Whilst speculation, fear and horrid debate still result Though prideful bluster [...]
"If you look up into His face and say, "Yes, Lord, whatever it costs," at that moment He'll flood your Life with His presence and power." Alan Redpath 1 Wilson's wisdom on Bethel life and ministry. 2 Daily getting smarter....? tools and helps? 3 Blocks to leading well. Courage to overcome. 4 Salty faith, and the inspiring Scott Sauls. 5 Broadening life in pastoral leadership.