'Many people love the idea of community. But when we eat together we encounter not some theoretical community, but real people with all their problems and quirks. The meal table is an opportunity to give up our proud ideals by which we judge others and accept in their place the real community created by the cross of Christ with all its brokenness. It’s easy to love people in some abstract sense and preach the virtues of love. But we’re called to love the real individuals sat round the table'.
Hello Rob Bell
If a 20 year old told you she was entering full-time ministry because
she wanted to serve God and make a difference in the world, what questions would
you have for her? How would you respond?
I would ask her if she's a Christian. If she said "yes," I would say "Too
late! You're already in full-time ministry! The real question is: what are you
going to do with your God-given passions and energies? Who are you going to
help? What are you going to make? Where are you going to serve? Go do that, and
release yourself from the need to give it labels.
Asking better questions
Asking “How big is your church?” is like asking, “How’s it going?” Neither one is a question that asks anything meaningful. If you are really interested in how a person is doing or how a church is doing, you will ask better, deeper, more meaningful questions.'
Lost for words
'I have started to recognise my escape routes. And their futility. The thing is – we become so used to numbing our pain in these ways that we no longer recognise our behaviour as anything other than ‘normal’. Everyone else does it – why wouldn’t I?
This morning, I read these wise words from Richard Rohr: “We must be taught how to stay with the pain of life, without answers, without conclusions, and some days without meaning. In terms of soul work, we dare not get rid of pain before we have learned what it has to teach us.”
The Story of Sheffield
'I went to the Bishop and asked if he could give us a few other buildings in the city that were no longer being used. There was a precedent for this as another church, Holy Trinity Brompton in London, had been given additional buildings. And he said this: “Never. Watch my lips so we are very clear. Never.”
“Well here’s the thing, Bishop, I have no room left in the church. What am I supposed to do with all of these people?”
“Why do you want to grow anymore?”
“Because it’s the Gospel imperative and it’s what Jesus wants us to do. “Go and make disciples and such.”
And I kid you not, he said, “Yeah, I don’t think that’s right. You’re putting too much pressure on the other clergy so I need you to stop growing.”
“But I’m not really even doing anything. It really is God!”
“That’s great, but I need you to stop it.”
Needless to say, there was a certain separating of paths at that point.'
Stackhouse on Piper
'Let’s keep hearing John Piper on the good things he has to say. And let’s just set aside those things he says–and we all say such things at times, especially those of us, like him and like me, that say a lot–that really aren’t so good.'