Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday musing

1. I greatly enjoyed and was moved by 'Even through our darkness' by Jack Deere.  It's a book about struggles, sin, mixed motives and above all else how pride fights the grace of God. It is a ruthlessly honest and, at times, astounding read.

2.  We met for our first 'Pastor's prayers' this year and a pal recommended I watch Joan Bakewell's 1970 interview with Martyn Lloyd Jones. It is as good a diagnostic of our times now as it was then. We are preaching through Judges and someone after church said to me 'I had no idea there were so many parallel's with our day.' That's why I am preaching it.

3. When something big happens in the Anglican church as occurred in Oxford I go to Anglican unscripted for a briefing. Gavin Ashenden's metaphor of the ferry has lived on with me since I watched this episode. A pal said 'I'll be jumping into a life raft before we reach the other side.'

4. I read a fascinating interview with Jackie Pullinger and this quote stayed with me.

 'My message is always the same; it’s how to get us sure enough of God’s love, so we can go out and share it with the lost.'

5. I have been reading 'The Fight' by John White which is such a good little book on the Christian life for dummies. I am a dummy, pastoring a church of dummies,so I've suggested everyone read this book between now and Easter.

6. I listened to a talk on predestination and at one point Keller says: 'You find yourself laughing at the thought that God chose you'. Indeed I do- often.

7. Mrs C was captivated by 'Redeeming love' which someone gave her for her birthday. It tells the story of Hosea.

8. May we never lose our wonder....

9. This is an interesting piece about Andrew Murray if you long for your children to come to Christ and need help reflecting on how that happens.

10.  If you are a pastor worth his salt you visit with regularity the question of discipleship both of yourself and those you shepherd. This might be more the case as a new year starts.  When it comes to discipleship type A's love a program and an activity and I confess I quite like one too. But increasingly I think they are not that good at making disciples who run the race over the long haul. So what is a disciple is one of my fresh musings....

Disciples love....

Disciples are generous...

Disciples pray....

Disciples are joyful...

Disciple can let things go....

Disciple keep meeting together.....

Disciples encourage each other....

Disciples repent and break bread together......

Disciples read.....

Disciples take time to be alone with Jesus....

Disciples laugh.....

Disciples cry

Disciples eat together......

Disciples invite people in....

Disciples fail and mess things up....

Disciples often get the wrong end of the stick but with the HS help they get it in the end......

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tuesday thoughts

1.  I listened to a talk Forgiveness brings liberty by Bill Johnson who, while not my man on quite a few things, I appreciate from time to time. The first ten minutes stuck with me- then I fell asleep so I can't speak for the rest of it.

2.  I have been praying for a door to open for six years and yesterday it swung ajar a bit and let in a shard of light.

3. Eugene Peterson has told me over and over again, particularly in his memoir, that you have try to stay as a Pastor in a place and with a people for the long haul. I generally think that over time in one place you can connect up the kingdom dots with more clarity.

4. It's hard not to catch a bit of 'Tis the season too by jolly' when you hang out with a 3 year old.

5. Darryl has posted his list of 'Best books of 2018'

6. A clicked about a bit on this set of 2018 links.

7. I have loved preaching on Ephesians.

8. We are going to be walking through Judges in the New Year. This quote starts off one of the commentaries I am reading:

'Whatever controls us really is our god....The person who seeks power is controlled by power. The person who seeks acceptance is controlled by the people he or she wants to please. We do not control ourselves. We are controlled by the lord of our life'

Rebecca Manley Pippert, Out of the Saltshaker, page 48-49

9.  Someone today told me of an elderly Godly politically well-read man in a local church near us who said on the day of the referendum result: 'They'll never let it happen'. Quite who 'they' are is one for you to speculate on but that statement looks more likely than it did two years ago when the PM said categorically 'Leave means leave'. We'll see if he's right.

10. The Calvin quote on page 18 of this is blessing and strengthening me.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

Monday musings

1. Mrs C went to an Advent service last night while I baby sat.  She was struck by the reading, which was Isaiah 52, and it provided an answer to our 3 year old's question of the day before which was: 'What does Jesus look like?'

2. As you know, I enjoy the book lists at this time of year and here are a couple. Andrew Wilson's Books of 2018 at Think Theology and Tony Reinke's Books of 2018.

3. I am greatly enjoying Peter Marshall's book 'Heretics and Believers' on the English Reformation so I was struck by David Starkey's piece in the Telegraph drawing parallels between Brexit and the Reformation. This is obviously not the first time this has been noted, but as I am immersed in the detailed goings-on during this period it is now on my radar as I read.  What has not yet emerged in our current era is who will take the part of Thomas Cranmer.

4. I drew a number a pals attention to Rod Liddle's article 'Sex is fine but keep the Christians out' about the hoo ha at Derby Cathedral.

5. When I was 'exploring my vocation' I was given a set of tapes by Jack Deere about 'Hearing God's Voice'. It won't surprise you to learn that its wasn't my DDO who put me on to them. I never did establish what exactly my DDO did make of the idea of God's voice but that's another story. One of the talks was about dreams and, in my simple way, I suggested to God that if he really was in the business of guiding by dreams then now would be quite a good time to do it. He answered my prayer in a quite remarkable way which has always left me thankful for Jack Deere. I mention this because I have recently come across his life story which it seems has been marked by darkness and tragedy called 'Even in our darkness'. Ann Voskamp says of it:

'Every once in a while, a gripping book comes along that is profoundly unmasked, unsettling and unforgettable. I couldn't put this down: This is one devastating, though-provoking, and needful read  that will change the landscape of your soul'  

6. I enjoyed David Keen's post on the Signs

7.  This piece posted by my pal Darryl is interesting. 'You don't go to church you are the church...But are you?'

8. It was fun to discover that J I Packer likes mystery novels.

9. Since turning 50 I am finding more things to be grumpy about. The latest thing I've decided I don't like are trendy crisps. All I want is a pack of crisps and I don't need you to make them out of a root vegetable or a poppadom or sprinkle the whole of Mary Berry's herb cupboard on them. Walkers Salt and Vinegar will do nicely thanks.

10. I watched 12 Strong on my own and it moved me.