"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 [...]
"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Saviour." Hillsong United, Oceans. 1 This Regent Redux on Sabbath, and freedom in the busy, is a well-worthwhile hour in the background while you ironically multitask!? 2 Todays discipleship, tomorrows disciples. Ten millennial generation reflections is really helpful. 3 Healthy leaders, healthy churches. Always worth contending for! 4 'Religion' at its amusing worst....right?! 5 Ten happy morning habits. Are many of [...]
In 1903, Rainer Maria Rilke replied in a series of letters to a student who had written to the well-known Austrian poet for an assessment. Written during an important stage in Rilke's artistic development, these letters contain many of the themes that later appeared in his best works. Letters to a Young Poet is essential reading for I'd say for everyone! Here are three of my favourite excerpts...... ‘Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows.’ "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… do [...]
both in their right size and shape! Psalm 56 v 11 records;- “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” The more we trust God’s perfection, the better we can deal with human perfection. There is no other healthy way to survive life in a broken world. Nothing short of divine love can equip us to love others as we should. It is our security in God’s perfect love that makes it safe to love those who are not perfect. Without the God who ordained them, the laws of love [...]
Real Marriage from Mark & Grace Driscoll is more than your average marriage-ministry. Its mild-controversy between the covers! I'm late coming to the action, in reading this - but here below is my rather longer review, than what I normally post....... here's one view and another view also. Mark Driscoll is the poster-boy, kick-butt pastor for new-wave Calvinism. Here is an all-included marriage-manifesto in the inimitable Driscoll-speak. Real Marriage seeks to be biblical in its scope, practical in its counsel, and offers wide ranging views on what might serve to strengthen marriages. What foundationally strikes me after two readings is that there is no apparent mutuality in the ‘Real [...]
In one of his most formative books, A Resilient Life, Gordon MacDonald suggests these questions about the kinds of people we have in our lives. Who are they, for you.....? Who coaches you? Who stretches your mind? Who listens to and encourages your dreams? Who will protect you? Who are those who share your tears? Who rebukes you? Who plays with you? Who seeks after God with you? .....worth an ask,...right?
This past week was heavy. I did a poor job planning, and ended up spreading myself too thin. By the end of the week I was pretty drained and dry. You didn't have to convince me that I needed rest!! I was ready to collapse on the couch in a trembling, whining heap. If I go for too long without rest, things dont go well. Things are no different with our spiritual lives. Samuel Ward says: Just as you refresh your body with rest and recreation, so cheer up your soul. Let your soul have two or three walks each day up [...]
“I’m not the king. I’m only an ambassador for the King”. A great reminder from Paul Tripp, speaking to church leaders about the specifics of pastoral ministry. Share this goodness far and wide: Sit with these questions in silence and the searching light of God, the Holy Spirit. What claims the fear of my heart? What causes me to lack confidence and doubt God? What has the power to rob me of my resolve and to question my calling? Where does my heart wander when it’s free to wander? Am I in the way of what God is doing, or [...]
I recently watched this brilliant video (anything with Parker Palmer is just great!) Here were the three questions that I've wrestled with since… (1) When your life gets out of balance, do you usually swing to damaging cynicism or escapist idealism? (2) What circumstances or decisions tend to push you in this direction? (3) What practices help you stay grounded, standing in 'the tragic gap?' This tragic gap is such a beautifully simple, yet profoundly difficult tension to live in. But as Palmer says, giving in to either extreme “takes you right out of the game”. Any thoughts?