Thursday, April 02, 2020

And the Lamb Wins

And the Lamb Wins: Why the End of the World Is Really Good News ...

I have often spoken here at the blog of a book written by a pal that I think might be a helpful read for you. Someone said recently that you should play word count bingo for how many times you get a text or hear said the words 'for such a time as this'. However, this book really will be a timely addition to your bookshelf.

I have seen utter nonsense posted on-line in 'This is what the Lord is saying' videos, as Pastor X from Tulsa Ohio tells you (wrongly) what God's up to. Steven, who is our Assistant Pastor here in Barnes has a sermon series brewing on all this as he gets more and more frustrated by some of the things he's hearing. As he told me this, I recommended Simon's book to him which he now has to help restore his sensibilities and his soul.

You would do well to get yourself a copy of  'And the Lamb Wins' to keep you Jesus-focused, Scripture-saturated and prayerful in these 'stay at home days'.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Staying together apart

Dear friends,

What days we live in. I intend to write, I hope daily, on the blog to encourage you, post resources, share some thoughts and generally keep you remembering Jesus is good and he's got this. We recorded our Sunday service today which was fun which will be posted on our website at 10am this Sunday.

Now you have some time and a clear diary you can catch up on the Psalm 23 sermons you've missed. Also, do listen to Steven who has joined the Team here and is teaching a great evening sermon series. If your church doesn't have an on-line Sunday service feel free to join us.



Tuesday, January 28, 2020

All things new

The Tim Keller archive is slowly being uploaded via a podcast. I listened to 'All Things New' and the last ten minutes of this sermon left me overwhelmed afresh by the gospel.  It was preached some years ago as a January sermon and you'd do well to let its message prepare you for 2020.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Monday musing

1. I am starting a new sermon series on Psalm 23 that will last four weeks. There are lots of books that are good on this but if you wanted one, 'The Good Shepherd' by Kenneth Bailey is hard to beat.

2. I am reading the 'Reappearing church' with my early morning pastors prayer group. It's a great resource.

3. The documentary 'Exposed' is necessary watching for anyone who leads a church or oversees anything to do with children or young people. One of my team who watched it described it as 'jaw dropping'. Horrific and stomach churning.

4. If you don't get Ryan Holiday's email about reading and books you should.

5. So grateful for Peter from OM who came to inspire us to global mission yesterday. If you are in London do invite him to come and speak in your church.

6. I read this quote today as I studied Psalm 23 and it struck me:

'It is clear that Christ himself was responsible for the drawing near of sinners who came to him and sat to eat with him. They came because in him they discovered themselves to be lost, and their tormented consciences found rest and peace. They loved him because they felt his love for them' 

Matta al Miskin

The Good Shepherd, p 115

7. A piece on 'Bishop's statement on Civil Partnerships'

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Best reads of 2019

I am not sure I have done a Best Book list these last couple of years despite having read a few books. A two and four year old have restricted my Christmas blogging and, if I'm honest, the last couple of years are a bit of a haze. So this is by no means an exhaustive pile of the things I've read, but it's a taste of what's been shaping me.

'In the Days of Rain: a father, a daughter and a cult' is a wonderful and disturbing book about growing up in an English brethren household in the 50's.

'Before the days draw in: my ordinary journey towards an extraordinary God' is a beautifully written adventure telling of life as a clergy family written by one of our saints here in Barnes. If you are a Pastor, or definitely if you are married to one, you should read this book. Barry and Mary Kissell's faithful life story should be read, absorbed and spread far and wide.

'David Cameron: On the Record' explains the story behind the pickle he got us all into.

'Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity' is a book about the stages and seasons of life and meaning.

'Translating God: Hearing God's Voice for Yourself and the World around you
' is a book by a prophet and contains lots of holy ghost stories, some of which left me slightly scratching my head. Why? I think the specificity of the way he hears God's voice was a challenge to my own experience of the prophetic.

'The Art of Neighbouring' is contextually American but has some good insights to offer

'The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to stay emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of the modern world' is a reworking of Ortberg's classic but contains lots of good stuff on the spiritual disciplines

'The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for people who can't get their act together' is a book that every imperfect follower (of which I am certainly one) should read.

'Even in our darkness: A story of beauty in a broken life' which I read in 2018 but its message still haunts and disturbs me, I hope in a good way.

'Holy Fire: A balanced Biblical look at the Holy Spirit's work in our lives' is possibly the best accessible one stop shop book on the Holy Spirit to come out in recent years. Kendall is a 'Calvinist Charismatic' which aren't two words that often go together. R T is one of the people I couldn't have run the race without.

'Love church: Join the adventure of Hope' is a book by my pal Tim about planting the HTB way. It's a good story.

'God has a name' is another book by John Mark Comer that is worth some time.

'The Burden is Light: Liberating your life from the Tyranny of  Performance and Success' is the book that gave me the most stories and little 'aha' moments this year.

'The gospel comes with a house key: Practicing radically ordinary hospitality in our post-Christian world' by the excellently named Rosaria Champagne Butterfield and is a book about hospitality as one of the marks of the gospel. She is a deep gospel-soaked woman who writes movingly.

'The Gospel Driven Church:  Uniting church growth dreams with the metrics of grace' was read by most of my Wednesday morning pastors prayer group and we all were blessed by it.

'The Fight: A practical handbook of Christian Living' is a classic discipleship book and one that any new or growing disciple would do well to get under their belt.

'Uncover Mark' we read in our home with a crowd. Food, sharing, the word, prayer, tears and laughter. Use it for wonderful stroll along the path of discipleship for a short season with a gang of saints. Good to read with a crowd or one to one.

'Judges for you' is a belter. I preached through Judges this year and it was extraordinary. A note if you are thinking about doing the same maybe don't plan 'The Levite and the Concubine' to land on Mother's day. Actually do- someone became a follower! However, you've been warned.

'The War of Loves' is the best and most compelling addition to the canon of books about sexuality and the gospel. A very real, honest, theologically rich and challenging read for all of us who will be grappling with these questions in the years to come.