Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The picture of a hand in 'The Walk' (p.64) and its explanation of how it helps you pray the Lords prayer has stuck with me.
Matt Damon's Ice Bucket challenge with toilet water.
My Mum gave me Cook Simple for my birthday. I cooked a spicy sausage recipe and nearly blew Mrs C's head off (a tip -use half a tea spoon of chilli flakes not 2). Yesterday, I cooked 'Penne with walnuts and gorgonzola'. Stupendous. Today, I may do something clever with a leg of lamb.
We watched Sunshine on Leith and absolutely loved it. A scene near the end made me cry and seemed to me to be a gospel moment.
I enjoyed this interview with Daniel Montgomery about Proof and like the thought the the best way to be a Calvinist is not to tell anyone that you are one.
Holiday beckons and so too the dilemma of what to read. I've lost my Kindle having lent it to someone at church and have since forgotten who it was. If it's you can I have it back please! This book is on my pile and may come away with me.
Faith and Fate (and the link it contains to a post called 'Will God protect my children?') has got me thinking today.
Last night Mrs C and I got a 'Text alert' to pray for Iraqi Christians from Open Doors. This morning I had a little look on their website and I learnt it was a hoax. Too late- we've already prayed which is one to mull on.
Tim Keller describes The Umbrella which disappeared long ago in the UK.
I have many thoughts having watched the Driscoll statement and was reminded of this quote which someone once left as as comment here after I had posted something about him. We are all such deeply flawed folk as pastors- as is this very 'Saulesque' man. I'm praying for him and his walk of repentance, for his church and for those he has seemingly so alienated and hurt while inspiring them to plant churches.
“Let my name be forgotten, let me be trodden under the feet of all men, if Jesus may thereby be glorified…let us look above names and parties; let Jesus be our all in all…I care not who is uppermost. I know my place…even to be the servant of all.” George Whitfield
I have also been reflecting on On Platforms, On Self Promotion and Pleasure Complete
One of the tasks of the week is to buy a suitcase. I have an expression I quote often 'Buy cheap buy twice'. Should this apply to luggage I wonder and should I go Samsonite or will Antler or Delsey pass muster? These are the big questions.
All suggestions and guidance welcome :)
Monday, August 25, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
2. Tim Keller now has all his resources on one site called 'The Gospel in Life'
3. A man who planted a church encourages everyone who is new to read this book. Just started reading it and it looks pretty good and helpful on getting set on the road of discipleship.
4. I am loving Bake Off. If Norman keeps it simple he may not last (but we do love Norman!)
5. Talking of simple- Bill Hybels new book is called Simplify
6. I've been tapping my toe to Mess like me (Mrs C really like this)
7. We have been dwelling in Jer 5:22 in the Contemporary English Version:
'I'm the one who made the shore to hold back the ocean. Waves may crash on the beach, but they can come no further'
8. Barnardo O Higgins ended up in my sermon. It makes me chuckle that the first leader of Chile was actually an Irishman.
9. I have to confess to readers that my penchant for country has led me to 'Nashville'. From it, Black Roses is a stunningly beautiful song.
10. If you had £2m quid you too could have a pool like this.
From my Bible in one year notes this morning:
The evangelist, David Watson, used to tell the story of when he was called into the garden by the frightened cries of his daughter who was being chased by a bee. He wrapped his arms around her and then she felt his body go tense. He let her go and said to her, ‘You needn’t worry anymore, darling, the bee has stung me.’
On the cross, it was as though Jesus wrapped his arms around us and took the sting of death for us. We still die (if Jesus doesn’t return first) but, for everyone trusting in Christ, ‘the sting of death’ has been removed through the cross and resurrection. And, as David Watson said to his daughter, ‘Bees don’t sting twice’. ‘Thank God!’ (v.57, MSG).
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Who's who in church history?
Six charges from the guy who coined the term missional (Leslie Newbigin)
A simple method to organise your prayers
Choosing to live an unbalanced life
5 truths for those struggling with eating disorders
On Victoria Beeching, Plato's third form of atheism and Christian standards of truth-telling and Michael Brown reaches out to Viccy Beeching.
Are Christians more susceptible to depression than non-Christians?
Man who died in church is prayed back to life (and you can watch it happen)
Friday, August 22, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The Bishop of Leeds has rightly asked of the government 'What's the plan?' in his recent letter to the PM:
Dear Prime Minister,
Iraq and the Islamic State
I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.
However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.
1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.
2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?
3. As yet, there appears to have been no response to pleas for asylum provision to be made for those Christians (and other minorities) needing sanctuary from Iraq in the UK. I recognise that we do not wish to encourage Christians or other displaced and suffering people to leave their homeland – the consequences for those cultures and nations would be extremely detrimental at every level – but for some of them this will be the only recourse. The French and German governments have already made provision, but there has so far been only silence from the UK Government. Therefore, I ask for a response to the question of whether there is any intention to offer asylum to Iraqi migrants (as part of a holistic strategy to addressing the challenges of Iraq)?
4. Following on from this, I note that the Bishop of Coventry tabled a series of questions to HM Government in the House of Lords on Monday 28 July. All but two were answered on Monday 11 August. The outstanding questions included the following: “The Lord Bishop of Coventry to ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to resettling here in the UK a fair proportion of those displaced from ISIS controlled areas of Northern Iraq.” I would be grateful to know why this question has not so far been answered – something that causes me and colleagues some concern.
5. Underlying these concerns is the need for reassurance that a commitment to religious freedom will remain a priority for the Government, given the departure of ministers who championed this. Will the Foreign Secretary's Human Rights Advisory Panel continue under the new Foreign Secretary? Is this not the time to appoint an Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom – which would demonstrate the Government’s serious commitment to developing an overarching strategy (backed by expertise) against Islamist extremism and violence?
I look forward to your considered response to these pressing questions.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines
The Bishop of Leeds
We must pray in these troubled times.