Broken soil produces a crop, broken clouds give way to rain, broken grain is vital for making bread, broken bread to provide strength. It is the broken alabaster box that offers fragrance and costly worship. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater purpose than ever before….. God uses broken, vulnerable, fragile, open lives – it’s always His way. Though this process is not ever comfortable, it is always of beautiful purpose in the end. Experience proves it because God’s word explains it.
"To learn to see the world and ourselves through the eyes of the gospel makes the world profoundly comic. Put differently, if you are a Christian, you have nothing to lose, so you might as well tell the truth." Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child
on a life that pursues the pattern of Jesus...... "The kingdom of heaven is worth infinitely more than the cost of discipleship, and those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it." DA Carson "We tend to give an unbeliever just enough of the gospel to get him or her to pray a prayer to receive Christ. Then we immediately put the gospel on the shelf, so to speak, and go on to the duties of discipleship. The grace that brought salvation to you is the same grace that teaches or disciplines you. But you [...]
As part of our 'Simply Jesus’ preaching series at church, here are some of the parts of what I brought today from Matthew 11 v 1-11. Here's the audio recording. Frederick Buechner says this in his book, Peculiar Treasures: "Where John preached grim justice and pictured God as a steely-eyed thresher of grain, Jesus preached forgiving love and pictured God as the host at a marvellous party or a father who cannot bring, himself to throw his children out even when the spit in his eye. Where John said people had better save their skins before it was too late. Jesus [...]
Anne Lamott writes brilliantly capturing the mystery and power of grace:- 'I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.' And this is thanks solely to Jesus, for "grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1 v 17
Dallas Willard was known to say this:- “The Kingdom of God is never in trouble” So why's this important? Here's what James Bryan Smith offers....... “Dallas was the first person to reveal to me that Jesus’ main message was the good news of the available Kingdom of God. But for years I failed to grasp what is so good about this news. This quote showed me that the Kingdom of God is strong and unshakable, that a life lived interactively with God never fails.Churches come and go, ministries rise and disappear, successes happen and failure ensues, but no matter what, [...]
It's what is rarely said!? Community brings out the worst in us.... Living in community is inevitably a choice to lie down on God’s operating table and open our hearts to the Holy Spirit’s healing through one another. It is an invitation to spiritual surgery, made all the messier by our inexperience in using and submitting to the “surgical tools” of gracious truth-telling and patient listening. It surprises me how the Spirit shows up again and again to help us through these messy surgeries. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. from The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites, and [...]