It's a bittersweet day as this morning we announced news that I've been offered, and accepted the invitation to serve as the next Vicar of Swanley and Hextable in Rochester Diocese. This will mean a move for us, leaving the wonderful people of Emmanuel Church, Northwood and the wider community here, to lead and serve in mission and discipleship there. Just as God very graciously guided us purposefully to Emmanuel in 2014, so we trust His hand in this detail. It is a bittersweet announcement. Leaving Emmanuel and the wider community will be painful yet the season and circumstances invite [...]
“We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.” Elizabeth Elliot 1 Helpful reminders on leading church change. 2 The challenge of distraction - helpful stuff! 3 Some of the best twitter counsel! 4 Godly leadership courage in church is needed 5 Compassion fatigue, and all that!
"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 [...]
have need of grace. all deserve the Fathers kindness. I loved this paragraph from some snatched reading this week. "As Alcoholics Anonymous has shown with such sterling clarity, an addict's healing journey begins with the recognition that she is powerless, unable to save herself, completely at the mercy of a compassionate God. Indeed, this is where Jesus begins his teaching too, gathering his young, cocky disciples on a hill and saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom." The poor are the ptochoi, those who have come to the end of themselves, those who've hit rock [...]
"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.
Psalm 135 says it this way:- "The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; They have eyes, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear, Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, Yes, everyone who trusts in them." This is the danger. To trust stuff. The Psalmist says if you trust stuff or money then you become a lifeless object. Why? Because of this vital truth. You and I become [...]
"This Sunday is Easter Day. It is a bittersweet truth that Jesus needed to die in order to live again. My walk through Holy Week will be in the company of Pope Francis who has talked of churches needing to go through a process of discernment, purification and reform. Discernment is on Maundy Thursday. For Jesus this was the realization that as he walked towards his death one of his own would betray him. For me it is the recognition that in the life of the church I have often hidden behind a grey pragmatism. Purification comes on Good Friday. [...]