1. Train your memory: David Platt's stunning talk did many things in me and I was left in awe by his scripture memorisation and the tremendous power of it when it's part of preaching. He quotes line after line of the Psalms by rote at the start and I have to confess I have times when I can't even remember my telephone number. This will put fire in you to share the gospel with someone who does not yet know Jesus and reveal too, if you don't already know it, why this really, really matters.
2. Always have a few books on pre-order: When you are a grown-up and earn your own pocket money it allows you to create the odd random surprise moment for yourself. One way to do this is to pre-order books on Amazon and then forget you have done so and then when they arrive it's like an autumnal Christmas. You should check out these:
a. Brennan Manning 'All of Grace: A ragamuffin memoir': Brennan Manning has taught me more about grace than just about anyone and he has just written the story of his crazy life. A Catholic priest, a drunk, a divorcee (not often on a Catholic priest's CV!) and a prolific writer about grace. You are going to want to hear his story I think.
b. Kenneth Bailey 'Paul Through Meditarrenean Eyes': Some of you may have read 'Jesus Through Middle-Eastern Eyes' and this is his follow-up. Bailey is a scholar who gets under the skin of biblical culture and is worth the time and effort to read.
c. Gordon MacDonald 'Going Deep': MacDonald is one of my key men and I have read just about everything of his. 'Rebuilding your broken world' did just that for me when it needed rebuilding very badly. I can't wait and have it on kindle pre-order so it will just download on the day of publication. How cool is that.
d. Maxwell 'Five levels of leadership': John Maxwell wrote the '21 Irrefutable laws of leadership' but it has always rather put me off that there are so many! 21 seems like an awful lot to work through and is destined surely to make me feel inadequate about how few I am actually currently practicing. So now comes the book that will save you all the bother of so many laws and cuts to the chase with '5 Levels'. Now that seems much more manageable:)
3. Pray for your M.P: I had an excellent meeting with my M.P the other day who is very encouraging of some of the work our church is doing. He is impressively engaged in our local area and its community, has keen a political mind and is concerned about the state of the church in this land. I gave him Amazing Grace and if you can't think of a book to give to your M.P you couldn't do much better than that. Who knows he might one day even end up as P.M?
4. The Riverbank Trust : One of the things I spoke about to Zac was our charity 'The Riverbank Trust' formed this year. For all concerned about the issue of abuse, single mothers and the needs of their kids this film is worth watching and is the follow up to this video on singleness. It's called 'Can anyone see that I'm hurting'. It is shocking and moving in equal measure.
5. The Song of the Weekend: We all have two options. Run to God or run away from him and this song encouraged us all to do the former. If you, like me, have a song of the season as you pray, read scripture, walk about and worship this might be one for you too. It's called Forever Reign .
6. Sandals of peace: Imagine if I in the Church of England had as much passion about my message (the gospel) as Nike seem to about their shoes. Check out their amazing new website called Better world (H/T Ben Arment).