Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Silent time

The blog will be quiet for a few day but will return....

Conference things

We are having a leadership conference with J John and M. Riches on July 3rd at Holy Trinity Richmond. If you are interested then please contact the Church office and we can give you the details. If you want to take on what will be addressed on this day there is a follow up conference for people familiar with some of the JM material but wanting to take it on in their churches. This will be on November 4th which might be a date for your diaries.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday Link-age

Here are the posts that have caught my eye in the blogosphere:

Rick Warren on how to last in ministry- HERE

Rick Warren on Everything- HERE

My friend Will sent me this which is called 'An unworkable theology' which is an important read pre-Lambeth/Gafcon-HERE

C.S Lewis on frightening children- HERE

Scott McKnight on what it means to be an evangelical- HERE

The Whiteboard Conference has just been which asked 8 key U.S church leaders to have one big idea and offers it in 30 minutes. Well worth checking out- HERE and Ed Stetzer blogs about it and you can watch his interview with each of the speakers- HERE

To marry or not to marry?-HERE

10 ways to engage in mission in the suburbs(H/T S McCoy)- HERE

Tim Keller on Tim Chester's new book (H/T S. McCoy)- HERE

I went to Refresh @ St Mary's recently and here is a link to the talks. I can commend a listen to Ken Wilson, John Peters is always lively and I particularly enjoyed Barry Kissell's reflections on 40 years in ministry- HERE

Bill on 'Giving a little love'-HERE

Hope that's enough to keep you going!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Keller on the 16 marks of a Revival

Lakeland has been talked of as a Revival. Here is TK on the 16 marks which anyone visiting Dudley or the USA might like to tuck under their arm- HERE

Show this at a preaching class

If you want to see a demonstration of passion through the spoken word you will do well to better this.

'Me Monsters"

This man is a genuinely funny man and it reminds me that I must try not to be a 'Me monster'. You will laugh at this. (H/T J. Taylor)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Whammy hunter

Rev McG goes to find out what all the fuss is about in Dudley. His blog tells what he found- HERE

Cross in the sky

They have had to move to bigger venues. This is what a meeting looks like.

Don't know what to make of the 'Cross in the sky' which is this posts title on You tube? Spent yesterday at an Alpha resources day and a pal is flying through Lakeland next week and may pop in. He has 2 degrees from Oxford, is ordained and is thoughtful, prayerful and not given to over-exaggeration. I look forward to his reflections. Not sure the degrees will be much help in Lakeland though!

'Behind the scenes' at Lakeland

5 Big Books

What are the five foundational books you should have on your study table? This is the question that Steve McCoy ( host of the Tim Keller resources site) is asking. It got me thinking so here are mine.

Christ plays in ten thousand places Eugene Peterson

Celebration of Discipline Richard Foster

For the Love of God Volume 1 and 2 Don Carson

The Reason for God Tim Keller

The Cross of Christ John Stott

Check out Steve's great post which is collecting loads of suggestions for a top five -HERE

Lessons from Cain

Paul Cain was one of the Kansas City Prophets and influenced and impacted many in the 80's and 90's charismatic movement. He was good friends with R T Kendall who wanted to give his ministry oversight which was refused- some time later it became clear that Cain was not all that he seemed. ( see the excellent "In the Pursuit of his Glory" which would be an excellent read for Pastors at this time).

Paul Cain has appeared on the stage recently in Lakeland and here is an article from Charisma magazine on him.

I guess the lesson here is the need for accountability and oversight. Cain was a seemingly anointed prophet and the records of his revelations and healings are well known. Todd Bentlety will need to be sure he too has these structures in place.

Does he? That seems to be a good question.

Holy vision in a burger restaurant

A visit to Dudley

A friend's report of a Dudley visit:

"Thought I'd add a bit to your Dudley mention. I'm about 10 miles away
from Dudley. I went to the first night three weeks or so back, and it
was all quite dramatic, "disorderly" even. I'm not one who falls over
in the Spirit - never happened to me in fact - until that night, when
it happened three times. I turned up half way through just as a group
of a dozen or so were giving their lives to Jesus. Next came some
general impartation from Trevor Baker - first for leaders, which was
where I took my first fall. I then joined the team of catchers too -
it was great fun, I have to say, as we ran around (literally) after
Trevor as two very full halls were cleared with about 80% taking a
tumble. Tumble two for me came as Trevor finished by praying for the
catchers. And tumble three came as some St Aldates student buddies
laid hands and prayed again on our way out. A good Holy Spiritual zinging boost -
felt very powerful but not (yet?) a specific life changer.

I'm interested in all this because in my short ministry here, I've
buried several people I would rather have seen healed. I want to see
the Kingdom break out among us for real. So I perused your collection
of linked comments, and reflected on how the crowds reacted to Jesus
in his day. They said he had a demon, and "they" say it about Bentley too,
not always convincingly. It seems to me like people are being healed,
but no doubt there are those who thought they were but aren't,and those
who'll be hurt if they're not following a path of Christian
discipleship. It'll be hard to quantify either way.I wish Bentley didn't go
on so much about his angelic visions (as perCol 2:18); on the other hand,
if people are being healed and saved then Luke 11:20.

I hope all heed your advice to look for Jesus - without a focus on
him, we either become cynical and distrustful, eventually even of
Jesus himself, or caught up in idols, either of individuals or signs
and wonders or just about any other good thing God gives us. And
Bentley is as human and faillible like the rest of us. Again, Luke 11
is illuminating about how we react to Kingdom stuff going off.
Ultimately, despite what we might prefer, quick fix signs and wonders
don't replace discipleship; they invite us into it."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blown over

Last week I heard testimony of someone who invited a friend (who was not a Christian) to watch God TV and witness the things that were happening. While watching, the woman was blown off her feet as Todd did his 'Bam, Bam Bam'. I confess to not understanding at all what that is about and parked it at the time as a weird anomaly in all this. Yesterday, I heard that a friend's brother was blown off his chair in a similar manner while watching God TV. I have not yet corroborated this with my friend. It is however the second example of being flattened by TV.

1. I have no idea what that is about

2. What was an anomaly now seems to have been repeated elsewhere?

Now, here is my take for which I am grateful to Jackie Pullinger who I heard speak a few weeks ago. She was reflecting on the Toronto blessing.

"Is is not that fact the you are shaking on the floor that matters it is what you are like and what you do when you get back up. Heidi Baker was on the floor of the airport vineyard for a week but when she got up she dedicated her life to the aleviation poverty of children in Africa. That's real transformation."

If the Lord does blow you off your chair, I pray you arise with a greater passion for the gospel, a heart to serve others and a love of the poor.

I will keep you notified on any more blown away moments.

Marked by Obedience

This verse from Romans is helpful on the purpose of sign and wonders:

"Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in the leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done-by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit."

Romans 15:17-19

1. Glory in Christ

2. Outworked in service to others

3. Christ should be MOST spoken of.

4. Those outside the faith are gathered in and marked by OBEDIENCE TO GOD (eis hypakoe 'with a view to obedience')

5. The purpose of the sign and wonder is OBEDIENCE

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Impartation?

A friend mailed me some thoughts:

That article in Charisma is the best thing I have read on this -
generous but cautious, corrective without condemning. I liked the tone
the author took, he raised the issues which have concerned me & he
offered wise and biblical pointers.

I would like to hear more on the legitimacy of one man doing all the
impartation every night, indeed the very legitimacy of such a notion of
anointing/impartation for healing - perhaps Romans1v11?

I personally have come from the Wimber tradition where the Spirit is
welcomed and sought by the individual, people may pray & bless what God
is doing, but there was no hype & no central individual 'doing all the
stuff' - indeed Wimber would often leave the platform & go for a pizza!

Dudley update

A Rev pal emailed me and he has been to Dudley and testifies to a positive experience. Here is the website he sent me- HERE. I still remain very cautious. I confess to a smile at the idea of a 'Glory Cloud' over Dudley. Yes I did say Dudley!



He tells me you can see the meetings live-HERE

Again, if you are planning to go be sure it is because the Lord has prompted you, pray and be sure to be seeking Jesus.

Lakeland in the blogosphere

A few comments across the range to help all of us as we assess what is going on:

HERE

HERE

HERE

An article from Charisma Magazine HERE

HERE

HERE

I hope this assists in the discussions and helps each of us draw some initial conclusions.

Monday, May 19, 2008

More Lakeland discernment needed

I have been continuing to discern what God is doing in Lakeland and have watched a range of material on You tube. A friend from Wycliffe is traveling out to Lakeland next week. There are reports of and footage of some fairly disorderly meetings in Dudley. (not that disorder is always the mark of something untoward. Whitfield and Edwards saw a bit of disorder.)

I am however concerned that some of this may have been birthed in rebellion or, as this interview says, 'rejection' by a movement. We must be very clear of the difference on Scriptural terms. Here too, there is a connection to Bill Johnson who is the NW main speaker this year so clarity in doctrine is crucial for church leaders as they discern this move of God. Bob Jones as a movement reference point is also to be approached with some discernment and caution.

See what you think- HERE

Two English Pastors speak in favour- HERE

This chappy in Kansas is not a fan and urges caution. His words on the primacy of Scripture, the centrality of the Cross, the necessity of repentance and the love of the poor are all hard to disagree with. I post it to assist in the debate and give a non-Todd view and perspective.

It's called 'Is this a move of God?' and his caution is to be sure you are seeking JESUS if you go to Lakeland. Apparently this was sparked by a visitation of an angel called "Emma"

See- HERE

All Pastors must be seeking the Lord, hold to the Word (studies in 1 John, Revelation and Colossians 2:18 -(Angels- HERE and HERE ) would be helpful) and be very prayerful at this time for our people.

In the Eye of the Storm

As we approach Lambeth and all the hoo-ha about human sexuality that is consuming the Anglican church this review of 'In the Eye of the Storm' I found interesting- read more HERE

Monday Link-age

Not been blogging much but here are a few things:

The pastors wisdom series continues at Jesus Creed including a reflection by Ortberg- HERE

Charles Colson's on his 'Dark night of the soul'- HERE

I start my day reading the bible and Don Carson's For the Love of God. An interview at Word Alive- HERE

68 reason to do Children's ministry- HERE

How to waste your theological education -HERE

A host of Rob Bell resources which will keep you interested for a while- HERE

Fulham Conference

I have just completed a long and busy week including speaking to my Deanery, leading my discipleship group, praying at the JM Conference and preaching on Exodus 16. Finished it all up with a school assembly this morning. I have done many things in my 18 years as a Christian but few things compare to the amazing experience it was to pray for people and listen to the Lord for them. I confess I embarked in a place of mild unbelief that God might use our teams and that I might hear God.

It was quite simply astounding. Holy moments, repentance, tears, freedom and grace.

I commend this conference to you if we do it again ( Nov is scheduled as and a taster day at HT Richmond for leaders is on July 3rd). This time last year I was preparing to travel to Tacoma which started me on all this and if I could go again I would. So, if you wonder what all this is about and don't want to wait and want a flight across the pond then do this years Conference.

Here are the details- HERE

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reformissionary Rev

My pal Will put me on to this book by Driscol and it is a cracker. It's called 'Confessions of a Reformissionary Rev'

I enjoyed this:

Gospel + Culture - Church= Parachurch

Culture + Church - Gospel= Liberalism

Church + Gospel -Culture= Fundamentalism

Gospel + Culture + Church= Reformission

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More Todd....

Rev Tim McG has blessed us with more news of Lee Duckett and Pastor Todd- HERE

Monday, May 12, 2008

The greatest need of the church

Here are some theologians and Pastors answering the question of "What is the greatest need of the church in our day". Perhaps having read some of the answers it might be to use less complicated words and explanations in their answers which might be a start.

Keller's clarity is, as ever, great. Christians need to live in big cities and he tells you why.

(H/T J. Taylor)

Tim Keller:

I’m throwing in with Jim Boice on this one (cf. his Two Cities: Two Loves.)

The evangelical church must stay true to its biblical foundations, and it must maintain and enhance the effectiveness of its expository preaching, the holiness of its members, the ‘thickness’ of its counter-cultural community, the fervor of its evangelism. But if it doesn’t learn how to do this in our biggest cities then we don’t have much hope for our culture.

If our cities are largely pagan while our countryside is largely Christian, then our society and culture will continue to slide into paganism. And that is exactly what is happening. Christians strengthen somewhat away from the cities and they have made some political gains, but that is not effecting cultural products much. It is because in the center cities (NYC, Boston, LA, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington DC) the percentages of people living and working there who are Christians are minuscule.

Jim Boice proposed that evangelical Christians need to live in the major cities at a higher percentage than the population at large (See Two Cities, p.163ff.) Currently 50% of the U.S. population live in urban areas (and 25% lives in just the 10 largest urban areas.) Boice proposes that evangelicals should be living in cities in at least the same percentages or more. As confirmation of Boice’s belief consider how much impact both the Jewish and the gay communities have had on our culture. Why? Though neither is more than 3-4% of the total population, they each comprise over 20% of the population of Manhattan (and in other center cities. )

So we have two problems. First, evangelicals (especially Anglos) in general are quite negative about U.S. cities and city living. Second, you can’t ‘do church’ in exactly the same way in a city as you do it elsewhere, not if you want to actually convert hard-core secular people to Christianity. There are churches that set up in cities without adapting to their environment. Ironically, they can grow rather well anyway in cities by just gathering in the young already-evangelicals who are temporarily living in the city after college. But that is not the way to make the cities heavily Christian—which is the crying need today.

See the other dudes on this question- HERE

Vital Christianity

I am reading Andrew Walls book on Christian mission called " The missionary movement in Christian history" and here is a quote:

" Unless there be reinfused into mass of our society something of that principle which animated our ecclesiastical system in the early days, it is vain to hope that this establishment will very long continue. But in proportion as vital Christianity can be revived, in the same proportion, the church establishment is strengthened'

Wilberforce, Practical Views (1797)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Reaching Christians for Christ

Graeme Cooke is a non-bonkers teacher in the prophetic and author of Developing you prophetic gifting. Worthy of a listen. Here is a summary of some of the things he said:



"About paradigms"

"You have to disciple people into how they should love God and how they should love each other"

"I am not trying to get people saved I am trying to get them to love God and then they will be saved".

"We need to be born again again"

"God is not an economist"

"There is so little of what we do in church that enables people to live"

"Leaders feel they have to control everything"

"The are two places, Temple and Synagogue"

"Temple: worship, pray, make offerings"

'Synagogue: Teaching, fellowship and to receive ministry"

"Let's waste the whole evening on God"

"People are enduring when they should be enjoying"

"The only time God put himself in a box he told people not to touch it or they would die"

"There is a problem if churches give 52 life changing messages a year and no lives change"

"All of creation self-organizes"

"We should organize ourselves around our passions"

"Most Christians don't know how to be with God"

"Church is built on a revelation of who God is"

"Your testimony is not what you were like before you were saved-that's history"

The Gospel

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”

— Timothy Keller, The Reason For God, New York, NY: Dutton, 2008, p. 181.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lee Duckett, Todd Bentley and Lakeland Florida

I hope and pray I am discerning and we will all need to be in the coming days having watched this- be sure to keep the word of God close when the Spirit comes. Mark Driscol has a phrase I like and describes himself as a "charismatic with a seat-belt". The reason for this, he says, is because when the car crashes it stops you getting into a real mess. I suspect, perhaps, just maybe and I know might be speculating here, I think, and of course I may be wrong so humour me but Todd Bentley may just not be a seat-belt wearing kind of guy........

So, make of this what you will, but there are quite some stories of healings coming out of Lakeland Florida. I post this for the discerning to weigh and to encourage you to be prayerful and thoughtful. The second of these references Bill Johnson who, as some may know, was the key speaker this year at New Wine Leaders. Quite a few friends attended.

We must pray.

Thoughts and views welcome.

Talk of UK Revival HERE and more talk of Revival HERE and a lad from Scotland HERE

Below is Rev Lee Duckett ( He'll no doubt liven up his Deanery Chapter meeting this month!!!!! )

Manna

I am preaching on Exodus 16 and have been greatly blessed by what this study by A.W Pink has to says on scriptural meditation. An old saint in my last church put me on to Pink and may this study be a blessing to you -HERE

Saturday linkage to the blog-o-sphere

Here are the things that caught my eye:

A very un-Anglican encounter sent to me by Trevor this week (Lee Duckett became a Christian on an Alpha course at HTB and is now ordained and is about to lead a Vicar friend's church plant) Charismania for sure, but may the glory indeed fall on this land and bring its gospel fire and hope. After all it is Pentecost!)-HERE

Is Steve Jobs the best presenter in the world? HERE

How 'wireless' life is changing the way we work and live(H/T Steve McCoy)- HERE

Depressing news on Anglican numbers this week in the Times- HERE

Memory tips -HERE

One man's discipleship story and course (H.T Steve McCoy)- HERE and HERE

Keller on international church planting- HERE

Looking for a conference to go to in the US- HERE

An evangelical manifesto and an interview with Os Guiness- HERE and a summary of what it says -HERE

Josh Harris on children and education- HERE

Can you take the bible literally?- HERE

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pastor's wisdom

Scott McKnight has started a superb series called "Pastor's wisdom" in which he has invited a number of wise warriors of the faith to suggest things they would have done differently in their ministry. I commend you to keep an eye on the posts- HERE

Transforming Discipleship


































Why are more Christians not like Christ? Why do we see so little transformation of lives despite all the singing and church-going that happens? That is the question this book asks and answers in a good and clear way.

This is a superb book so do get it and read it if you have time-

HERE. If not, here is a summary in quote form:

Most people in discipleship want "freedom from not freedom for"

We should be people of 'radical-non-conformity'

Pastors have turned into responders

The preached word needs the context of community

" The most telling thing about the contemporary Christian is that he or she simply has no compelling sense that understanding of and conformity with the clear teaching of Christ is of any vital importance to his or her life, and certainly not that it is any way essential " Dallas Willard

" Instead of growing a church with programs, focus on growing people with a process. We need a process to go with a purpose. Unless the purpose is fleshed out in a process, then we don't have anything but nice platitudes" Rick Warren

Discipleship is fundamentally a relational process

"Jesus, it must be remembered, restricted nine-tenths of his ministry to twelve Jews because it was the only way to redeem all Americans" Eugene Peterson

Jesus had enough vision to think small

"Perhaps today's pastor should imagine that they are going to have three more years in their parish (church) as pastor- that there will be no replacement for them when they leave. If they acted as if this were going to happen, they would put the highest priority on selecting, motivating, and training lay leaders that could carry on as much as possible the mission of the parish after they left. The results of three sustained years of such an approach would be significant. Even revolutionary." from David Watson's "Called and Committed"

Jesus concern was not with programs to rech the multitudes, but with men the multitudes will follow

The best work is done with a few. Better to give a year or so to one or two men who learn what it means to conquer for Christ than to spend a lifetime with a congregation just keeping the program going

The readiness goal: "the ability and willingness of a person or group to take responsibility for directing their own behaviour"

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care

Jesus' plan has not been disavowed it has been ignored

We we have failed to appreciate is the power of invitation to be with others on an intimate basis over time

Jesus' model: build slowly, build solidly

A triad is an ideal disciple-making group

A triad should 1) open their hearts in transparent trust to each other 2) around the truth of God's word 3) in the spirit of mutual accountability

Who to disciple? Look for two qualities (2 Tim 2:2) 1) loyalty to God and others 2) teachability

"One must (The pastor) decide where he wants his ministry to count-in the momentary applause of popular recognition or in the reproduction of his life in a few chosen ones who will carry on the work after his has gone"

Look for people who have a chance of staying around for a while

"Every Christian must see themselves as the link to the next generation" William Barclay

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

No more preaching

It is 8.45pm and I have just printed off the final draft of my potty training essay-5335 words. A bit over budget but too bad and at this stage any number of words will do.

Having just done the bibliography here are some of the best books I read for it while they are fresh in my mind:

Boyd Macmillan, Explosive preaching- If you preach you need to own this book-HERE

Haslam, Preach the word-An invaluable collection of essays from the nations most gifted preachers. Should be on you shelf-HERE

Stanley, Communicating for a change-simple stuff but some broad principles that I think are very helpful-HERE

The leaders guide to effective preaching- Has an essay by Eugene Peterson in it-What more need I say- HERE

Pagitt, Preaching Re-imagined- A post-modern dude with lots of ideas for the current times so I agree with some not- HERE

Lowry, The homiletical plot- My college principal disliked narrative preaching but Jesus seemed pretty keen on it-HERE

Monday music and entertainment

I am still very much enjoying Glory Revealed and commend it heartily as a wonderful worship album. I have also been enjoying Hillsong United Look to you which is great. On the other music front I confess to rather liking the new Neil Diamond album, which I heard profiled recently on Radio 2. You have to rate Mr Bojangles as one of the greatest songs ever written. Anyway his album is called Home before Dark and you can watch the single 'Pretty Amazing Grace' -HERE

I have also been enjoying a series called Brothers and Sisters. My friends John and Helena are onto Series 2 and were raving about it to me. It's basically the story of a large American family and all the ins and outs of their lives. Ken Olin who directed the West Wing directs and writes it. Watch the trailer - HERE

Monday, May 05, 2008

Male Truths

I am enjoying the second installment of Scazzero's writings called 'Emotionally Healthy Spirituality'. I share from it the observations of Richard Rohr who says that there are five essential truths to which men must awaken to grow up into their God-given masculinity and spirituality

1. Life is hard

2. You are not that important

3. Your life is not about you

4. You are not in control

5. You are going to die

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Freeze

Link-age

Here are some posts that have caught my eye.

Pastor Conrad Mwebi described on You Tube as 'The African Spurgeon' which I enjoyed listening to ten minutes of him speak with passion on Philippians-HERE

A quite brilliant Q&A with Mark Driscoll on how he leads his church and his habits of life- HERE

How to read faster- HERE

John Eldridges new book called Walking with God- HERE

A review of a book on how to do church more simply that asserts that programs might be less than effective. Seems interesting stuff-HERE

Need a picture of a biblical scene. Check out Biblical Art -HERE

Do you have a Stepford God? Some Keller quotes from Reason for God-HERE

Making ideas stick-HERE

John Lennox (who used to teach us how to read the bible at college) on Richard Dawkins- HERE

Great book series called Big thoughts for little thinkers-HERE

I recommended Reason for God to one of the cleverest people I know ( top 1st from Oxford and doing a Phd @ Yale and he said it is the most thorough apologetic since Mere Christianity) . If you haven't yet got a copy get one and one to give away -HERE

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Don't waste your pulpit

Am I normal?

My sis recommended this which I have watched on iplayer. It is an exploration of the relationship between psychology and spirituality. Interesting stuff (you need to catch it within 3 days).- HERE