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By |2016-06-15T21:55:53+00:00June 12th, 2016|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal|

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3 v 20 God’s ways trump our wildest expectations. We forget this, asking for smaller things, satisfied with humdrum. What an adventure He calls us on! We need to dream bigger for the kingdom of God. When we do, Paul is clear, God supplies more than we need—greater answers to prayer than we ever expected. How can this be? Paul says it’s the power that works within us. The Holy Spirit lives and [...]

praying….

By |2014-07-31T21:15:36+00:00August 2nd, 2014|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

The Lord's Prayer can get dusty really quick from repetition and overfamiliarity. I heard Dallas Willard's version of the Lord's Prayer and really enjoyed the freshness. Take it for a test-drive and see what you think. Here goes... "Dear Father, always near us, may your name be treasured and loved; may your rule be completed in us may your will be done on earth in just the way it's done in heaven. Give us today the things we need today, and forgive us our sins and impositions on you, as we are forgiving all who in anyway offend us. Please don't put [...]

Transformation, not substitution.

By |2013-05-09T13:45:40+00:00May 9th, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, theology|

I was grabbed by the John 16 v 23-30 reading from last weekends lectionary. I love the plain speaking of Jesus about His Father. It’s so helpful here to see how our Heavenly Father answers joyfully……and how He provides lovingly. I spoke about how God brings joy to our lives, not by substitution, but by transformation. Just as a young mother giving birth. The arrival of the child sees immense pain, giving way to great delight. In birth, God does not substitute something else to relieve the mother’s pain. Instead what is there already is transformed. Every parent knows what it [...]

deep joy

By |2013-03-18T11:44:04+00:00March 18th, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, theology|

Discouragement and even despair, can be the soil in which joy grows and multiplies. If we survive our desperate days (and surviving is always what we should choose to do), we can find ourselves afterward having a more responsive heart. Suffering can teach us how to rejoice in a way that is more genuine and true. Not all joys are created equal. Some are richer and deeper than others. We need the lighter kind, of course, the many casual joys of ordinary living that we should never take for granted. But we also need the more meaningful joys, those that resonate within us at [...]

a burning yes!

By |2013-02-01T18:10:34+00:00February 27th, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

In seeking God, we let go of the things that interfere with the life of God. That's the theory at least!  Psalm 16 v 11 is a gem:- “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Giving up the lesser in order to gain the greater does hurt sometimes. There’s no question that self-discipline can be quite uncomfortable, even painful. It does no good to deny the pain. But this pain we gladly accept if our hearts truly burn with the passion of what matters more to us than anything else [...]

zest

By |2013-01-30T08:33:16+00:00February 24th, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

Christian Dior advocate, “Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest!” Zest is an undeniably attractive quality. I’d not go as far as Christian Dior for I can think of kinds of beauty that attract with serenity rather than with zest. But even so, zest gets a great amount of favourable publicity, and rightfully so. Most dictionaries indicate that there are two basic meanings of the word ‘zest’ as we use it today. Both of these meanings are suggestive of good things when we speak of zest as a personal characteristic. 1. Intense flavour. Zestful flavours are those [...]

your capacity for joy

By |2013-02-11T08:27:37+00:00February 11th, 2013|coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple”, so says Psalm 27 v 4. Our hearts are divinely fashioned to receive the joy which God wishes to fill them with. It is true, as Bernard of Clairvaux said, that “beauty is the soul’s birthright.” Even though we’ve damaged our taste for divine things by neglect and abuse, we still find ourselves being 'surprised by joy,' as C. [...]

in the middle of the storm

By |2013-02-02T20:45:38+00:00February 3rd, 2013|church life, coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

In our lectionary reading today Matthew 8 v 23-27, we meet the Messiah in the storm. The big idea for me is this:- No matter what the storm may be, Jesus will always see us through. This passage comforts us with the knowledge that there will always be storms. Experience and preparedness do not make us immune to the storms. Preparation is good; experience is wonderful, but storms will still come our way. Moreover, we also learn that storms in life can be fierce. The storms of life will shake us to our core and challenge us to the limit. This passage communicates that reaction [...]

be still my soul…

By |2013-01-26T20:58:12+00:00January 28th, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

I have patterns that help me better follow Jesus. Occasionally I rummage through some of the older books on my shelves. I like to flick through old hymn books and often God guides me to something that sticks. God grabbed me through this hymn. It felt like it just punched me in the gut as I sat in my cold, morning study room chair. Might you sit quietly with this beautiful hymn/poem? Would you let it shape you. Let it comfort and still your soul........and let it mould a prayer of response to our triune God? "Be still, my soul: the Lord is on [...]

creative waiting

By |2012-12-15T09:38:24+00:00December 21st, 2012|church life, coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

Creative waiting is an inescapable part of the plan of God. Jacob waits in Laban's house for the right bride. Job and Habakkuk are no strangers to the waiting place. These two cry out desperately, wanting to know the mind of God in their own situation. The God who works for those who wait for him is almost directly opposite to the idea of God that is current in the late twentieth century. We have seen God as some mountain to be explored or an argument to be understood -- something for us to control. Rarely is it thought that [...]

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