Thursday, February 28, 2013

God's great dance floor




If this doesn't make you dance and feel grateful to be alive and saved few things will.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blush

'Few men would dare to read their own autobiography, if all their deeds were recorded in it; few can look back upon their entire career and not blush'

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Monday, February 25, 2013

Inconsolable longing

CS Lewis on "the inconsolable longing":

'There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else....It is the secret signature of each soul, the in communicable and unappeasable want"

Quoted by James MacDonald in Vertical Church

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Never out of control

'So give it all to God: your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, your dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ in the driver's seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don't be afraid; nothing under his control can ever be out of control'

Day 12 'The purpose driven life'

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent

Some thoughts on Lent from Guy Williams:

At this point in a new year, I am usually struck by how quickly the weeks have passed and how it is not at all new anymore. Just as winter gives way to spring (in weather if not strictly by the calendar), the Christian year keeps marching along too. All of the preparation for a special Christmas season now seems so long ago. But soon we are entering one of the other more significant times of the year for Christians: Lent.
Lent is a season of preparation. We have Easter in our sights, looking forward to the event that gives Christians our profound joy and hope. But, lest we forget Jesus’ path to that first Easter morning, we first take the season of Lent to hear Jesus’ call to “take up your cross and follow” and to pay attention to the way he took up his cross and followed God’s purpose for him. The biblical word for that is “discipleship.”
In Lent, there is a tradition of picking something to “give up for Lent”–to practice self-denial somehow, whether in a small or large way, in order to focus on Jesus and the fact that he practiced self-denial in the most significant way imaginable. This sort of practice–a concrete way to help us focus on God–is typically called a “spiritual discipline.” Spiritual disciplines include habits like prayer, Scripture reading, fasting (from food or something else), intentional gratitude, and the like.
John Ortberg, a prominent pastor and author, has expressed the frustration of many when he read a book describing 12 spiritual disciplines, confessing, “I felt like I was already not reading the Bible and praying enough–now I have ten more activities I have to feel guilty about?”
But that frustration did not diminish his commitment to deliberate spiritual growth. Thankfully, he shares insights he discovered that helped him move forward:
On the other hand, I don’t just drift into spiritual growth. So how do I know what spiritual practices might be helpful to me? Here’s one of the most helpful insights I know, courtesy of Dallas Willard.
Sins can be divided into two types:
1. Sins of Omission (lovelessness, joylessness-–things I DON’T do)
2. Sins of Commission (lying, gossiping-–things I DO)
Disciplines can be divided into two related types:
1. Disciplines of Engagement (study, worship-–things I DO)
2. Disciplines of Abstinence (fasting, solitude–-things I DON’T DO)
Generally–when I wrestle with a sin of Omission, I will be helped by a discipline of engagement. For instance, if I struggle with joylessness I will be helped by the practice of celebration. If I struggle with being miserly I will be helped by the practice of giving.
When I wrestle with a sin of Commission, I will be helped by a practice of Abstinence. If I struggle with gossip I will be helped by practicing silence; if I wrestle with ‘impression management’ I will be helped by solitude.
I encourage you to pick something to give up, practicing a discipline of abstinence, this Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 9, and going through Easter Sunday, April 24. And I encourage you to pick something to do, practicing a discipline of engagement as well.
What distraction can you lay aside that will help you focus on Christ? What habit can you practice that will help you focus on Christ?
That is one of the true gifts of the Christian season of Lent–finding practical ways to focus our attention and devotion to Christ. How do you plan receive that gift this year?

Blog-sweep

Is the gospel the centre of the church of is Jesus? and a Review of Centre Church

The history of Valentines Day

A reflection on Downton Abbey

Toxic Charity

Sexualization and Christianity

Sensing Jesus

7 productivity myths debunked by science (and common sense)

10 reasons kids quit church and Why young adults leave church 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mentors

A good post about How a mentor will change your life. 

1. Find a person further along the road than you

2. Ask them to be available to encourage and pray for you

3. Set a time

4. Get going.

Andy Stanley's Next Generation Leader is worth a read.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Saturday blog-sweep

A couple of thoughtful strong women have written books. Cranmer reviews Maggie Dawn's new book and Thomas Creedy looks at Rachel Held Evan's A year of Biblical womanhood.



I am working through these sermons on Ephesians which are stunning. The whirlwind at the start of 'I am a Saint' is not for the faint-hearted. You've been warned. If you get this stuff though it will change everything.

Perceptive readers will note Driscoll and Held Evans are not the most natural blog-o-sphere bedfellows. It's what makes Cookie's days so interesting.

The apostle Paul and the heart of church planting and 'Why telling people what to do makes them stupid'

Steve McCoy has 'Some advice for parenting young kids'

Seth Godin has a brilliant thought called 'The cost of neutral' and 'The Spectator problem'

For those of you with proper jobs here are Nine signs of corporate decline

Tim Challies has a good and timeless quote on Jelly-fish Christianity.

In case you didn't know it Marriage is not a slumber party

Top 100 Church leaders to follow on twitter

Trevin Wax has two good posts Stop asking Jesus into your heart and The importance of listening in apologetics

Desiring God conference on spiritual gifts talks

God and Politics has a challenging thought Pornification and why our children are in trouble and Krish writes of 'The Gospel and the Elephant in the room'

That's probably enough to be going on with.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Nice to be missed

It has come to my notice that I have failed to blog much.

A good post about marriage with a great Bonnhoeffer quote.

Do a second draft of an email.

Follow me is David Platt's new book.

Counting the cost of the same-sex marriage vote and Welby on the vices and virtues of mammon.

Faith

3 ways to build a team and a lovely quote about Community and Mission.

And here is a great talk by Nicky Gumbel on Spiritual and emotional health.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Farmer

Yesterday, I preached from Mark 4 about seeds, growing things and the Kingdom.