words about God

By |2017-06-10T16:51:46+00:00June 10th, 2017|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, theology, writing|

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 [...]

good work

By |2014-07-27T12:58:34+00:00July 22nd, 2014|church life, coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

Christian scripture gives us hope for all of life. For all of our lives including our workplaces, despite frustration, they are to be places of formative spiritual hope in the face of pursuing vocation in this world. So here Keller considers the nature of work, how sin messes up work, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ relates to work. Everyone has the experience of imagining accomplishing things but being incapable of producing them. Without God, all our best will never measure up, but with God our work can be part of bringing about the future healed world. While others have written more [...]

goodness

By |2014-06-30T15:20:12+00:00June 29th, 2014|church life, coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal|

This is a top class compilation of the best of Gospel-Centred Discipleship resources. This is a rare and significant volume addressing three layers of discipleship; making disciples, maturing disciples, and multiplying disciples. Though rooted in an American and conservative context, there is much for rich and full application for all who read this. I found the chapters on gospel hospitality, five boldness-increasing questions, facing our identity-issues, eight characteristics of sanctification and five lies that kill obedience, were particularly striking and of challenging benefit to my own walk with Jesus. There is a pithy punch to the brevity of each of [...]

stitches

By |2014-04-08T14:44:32+00:00April 8th, 2014|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

I urge you to read this great little book, filled with Anne Lamott's insight and counsel on 'collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric' and how to 'sew them back together, one stitch at a time.' Stitches is part of a three-part series. Hodder & Stoughton have done a great job in the execution of this title. While there are many feminine descriptions of sewing and quilting woven throughout the book, there is also so much more. Lamott doesn't gloss over hard truths. She acknowledges that life can sometimes be so painful that it seems unbearable. It can [...]

Noah

By |2014-04-04T22:19:37+00:00April 4th, 2014|church life, coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

So this afternoon we discovered our local independent cinema and spent part of our day-off with Aronofsky's Noah. Noah is an ambitious piece, set initially in a scorched, desolate post-apocalyptic world. Think very flat, low budget, Mordor country. There are some bold and ingenious script moments, but also some flat, unhelpfully slow and disappointing cul de sacs. The growl of Ray Winston's character baying, "don't be afraid!" is engaging from beginning to end. The brilliance of Jennifer Connelly articulating the struggle and bargaining pain of Mrs Noah is centre piece. The journey of the sons into their directed pathways and consequences [...]

risk-takers

By |2013-12-07T15:05:00+00:00December 7th, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

This is one of best reads from this quarter. It's 5-star stuff, and an ideal Christmas gift read. It's an ideal catalyst to a renewed way of faith and action that will energise your life and ultimately honour God. Here's my review of it. "This is a pacey, engaging and thoroughly challenging book from the pacey, engaging and thoroughly challenging Malcolm Duncan. This is a great gift for the resourcing and renewal of the local church. The memorable line from this title that best captures sums it up for me is this:- "The unpredictable Spirit invites us to an adventure [...]

light

By |2013-09-02T06:39:42+00:00September 2nd, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, writing|

Packing Light is a new release title from Allison Vesterfelt. This is a powerful travel memoir full of restlessness, soul and spirit. The road is the journey, and this is where the real joy is found. It’s heartfelt, warm and full of wisdom. Her meandering voice is worthy companionship in this fifty-state journey. Vesterfelt’s handling of temporality and ambiguity is one of the things I most appreciate about the book. It’s written well with good humour, lots of detail, compelling descriptions and rich narrative. The big idea is found most clearly in the closing sentences:- “Your life is waiting. But [...]

silence explored

By |2013-07-25T14:22:45+00:00August 22nd, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, theology, Uncategorized, writing|

Christianity has had a struggling relationship with silence. We have a wordy faith filled with volume that finds difficulty to accept anything less. Pascal wrote that "all of man's misfortunes come from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room". Diarmaid MacCulloch here charts this problematic and often contradictory relationship with power, sensitivity and insight in Silence: A Christian History. Expanded from a lecture series, it is intellectually weighty and without the prevarications and self-qualifications that sometimes spoil academic prose. Comfortingly, it's not overwhelmingly dense! The final quarter for me is the most applicable and provocative. MacCulloch explores the [...]

boundless……

By |2013-07-25T13:25:04+00:00July 30th, 2013|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, theology, writing|

OK never judge a book by its cover: but you're allowed to judge the cover right?! Sadly the ugliness of this book is unavoidable. Here we have a super little volume packed with fresh, creative and engaging faith. The likes of which rarely comes along, and is also worthy of your confidence for the neighbour, friend or colleague who isn't yet persuaded by Jesus. Strickland & Court write comprehensively with generous and faithful insight. Life, scripture and playfulness are entwined. They work with the original languages to dig deep and ask fresh questions of our faithful God. As is recorded [...]

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