Thursday, October 30, 2014
'Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work its worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us. Let our chief work as God's messengers be intercession; in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us.'
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
(Free as an ebook -126 pages):
'Man, think on eternity,
And do not mock the time of grace,
For judgment is not far off. '
Monday, October 27, 2014
This talk 'Cultivating Private Prayer as a Pastor' gave (and is giving) my prayer life a kick.
So good and so much food to chew on.
Oh that we pastors would pray with more zeal and more expectation.
Oh that I would do so.
Do listen to it, pastor or not, and I do believe there will be some nuggets that will light the fire of prayer in you once again.
Apparently, one in fifty of the C of E's clergy don't believe in God and we wonder why we are struggling a tad.
I am still chuckling about a phrase Geoff Surrat used about applying Willow leadership fads to the local church. He said too often pastors find themselves ''Up a creek without a Hybels"
I am so enjoying Shrink. I've had it now for a few days and it's dog-eared and heavily underlined. So much that Tim Shuttle writes is resonating with me and the way I am shaped. I used a story about Andre Agassi in my sermon on 'Justification by Faith' (do listen to this by Keller if you want a primer on what JbF is!)
This story that Ann Voskamp posted is one to read about Ebola.
I have been mulling on the testimony of Rev Richard Coles and the fact that Forward in Faith Bishop Jonathan , Episcopal overseer for traditionalists opposed to the ordination of women, has asked for permission to remarry which has been granted.
Since reading about Rev Richard Coles I have been singing 'Don't leave me this way' around the house which was something of a dance floor smash in the 80's. To my disbelief, Mrs C had never heard of it and was not even helped by my trying to dance to it in the style of Jimmy Sommerville. She was only 8 in 1986 so I've let her off the hook on her musical ignorance. Next things is she'll be telling me she's never heard of 'Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark' :)
The is a lot of darkness advertising locally. Halloween is Christmas for the other side. I always remember Danielle Strinkland's phrase in a talk at Soul Survivor that went something like- 'where the light is passive the darkness advances unopposed'. It has and will act as a wake up call for me and our people.
Boris Johnson has written a biography of Churchill called 'The Churchill Factor'.
We had a fantastic film sermon at our 16:30 service. It used the film 'The Guardian' which for some reason had passed me by. If you watch this film and it doesn't ignite the evangelist in you then I'll eat my sandals of peace. I watched it last week and, of course, it made me cry.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Chances are your teen is watching porn
How to prevent the extinction of the C of E
5 Lessons from Driscoll
How to get a good nights sleep
7 things you need to stop doing to be more productive via Dash House
What millennials misunderstand about marriage
15 things to start doing by the time you are 30 via Preacher smith
When the churches "welcome" to LGBT people hurts
Piper, Keller and Carson share some encouragements
How to get things done: Organisation and Systems
Learning to lead differently as you age via Head Heart Hand
How to save a Diocese and How to save the C of E
Thursday, October 23, 2014
From BiOY today:
'He is one of my great heroes of faith. He was a model of godliness, faith and humility. God used him greatly. When he died in 1982, his executors were unable to trace a single member of his family still living. No one came forward claiming to be even a distant relation.
Yet, The Times obituary about him rightly noted that his influence within the Church of England during the previous fifty years was probably greater than any of his contemporaries. John Stott, who was one of the numerous influential Christian leaders whom he led to faith in Christ, said of him: ‘Those who knew him well and those who worked with him never expect to see his like again; for rarely can anyone have meant so much to so many as this quietly spoken, modest and deeply spiritual man.’
Why was this man, the Reverend E.J.H. Nash – better known as ‘Bash’ – so useful to God? How can we be useful to God? It is no secret, the Bible tells us how.
St Paul writes, ‘In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets – some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing’ (2 Timothy 2:20–21, MSG).
John Stott writes, ‘No higher honour could be imagined than to be an instrument in the hand of Jesus Christ, to be at his disposal for the furtherance of his purposes, to be available whenever wanted for his service.’ Being useful to God starts with dedicating your life to him and re-dedicating it regularly to his service.'
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Five principles of prayer
7 things your church needs from you
Hillsong and Evangelicalism's Future and A Church in Exile
Three reasons Mark Driscoll's resignation changes everything
Advice to young pastors from Keller et al
The Hopeless Marriage via Tim Challies
When a pastor resigns abruptly
5 reasons people aren't volunteering at your church
What if having an extraordinary life isn't the point
How to be refreshing in your local church via Dash House
Becoming an influential leader
Insight into Nigeria's Mega-churches
Friday, October 17, 2014
I was chatting with a friend today and he reminded me of a comment a mutual pal had shared a few years ago about Mark Driscoll.
Our pal said this:
'He's not yet had his Jacob moment'
And so arrives the Jacob moment.
A Jacob moment is the kairos event that humbles you. The event that levels your confidence, your pride and your reputation and sets God in his rightful place. It leaves you a deposit of pain in your hip and forever more you will walk with a limp.
The internet is awash with reflections and I too am quietly reflective.
The ministry of Mars Hills been a blessing and encouragement to me in more ways than words can express. It was never a perfect one and was led by a seemingly very imperfect chap and my experience of it, as for many others, was from afar. I discovered them via their church planting and The Resurgence and A29 networks were the source of much wisdom, books, talks and collected learning as I planned for our venture here. Driscoll's passion for Jesus, his fire to see churches planted, his supreme giftedness in many areas, his longing to see the lost reached (particularly men) and a desire to see marriages strengthened impacted tens of thousands of people across the world. Both the church and A29 planting network he started will now outlive his tenure as founding pastor.
I have no doubt the fall out will be, and has been, devastating for those in his church and those connected and associated personally with and to this ministry and its tribe. Unaddressed and unacknowledged brokenness so often does that to others. It is timely for all of us who pastor churches, however large or small, to search for the inevitable planks in our own eyes (and leadership). Of all our flaws, and in my case there are many, it is our unfettered and dealt with pride we must be most ruthless with.
Here are some posts offering further reflection and reading:
The Mars Hill Postmortem
Seven better ways to respond to Mark Driscoll's Resignation
A tale of two Mars Hills
Unhealthy Christian Organisations
The True nature of Elder Authority
Pharisectomy, Peter Haas, Page 21
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
'Martin Luther King said, ‘On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question, “Is it right?”
‘The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of convenience, but where they stand in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy.’
Doing what is right in difficult situations in the workplace is a huge challenge. In his book, God at Work, Ken Costa writes, ‘There are right and wrong choices … all the invented terms such as “inappropriate” and “counterproductive” are efforts to avoid the simple ethical fact that there is a right and wrong course of action.’
When facing a difficult pastoral situation those of us in the leadership of the church need to remind ourselves that the first question we have to ask is, ‘What is the right thing to do?’ And only then move to the second question, ‘What is the most pastoral way to do it?’
Of course, none of us get it right all the time. We all make mistakes. As Ken Costa writes, ‘We only grow in wisdom if we learn from our mistakes. Siegmund Warburg [Ken’s first boss] said on this subject: “Some name it disappointment and become poorer, others name it experience and become richer.” ’
In today’s New Testament passage, Paul writes to the Thessalonians, ‘Never tire of doing what is right’ (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Jesus did not go for the easy or popular solution, but he always did the right thing. This is an important principle that runs throughout the entire Bible.'
From my BiOY notes today. As it happen Ken is coming to speak to the 350 today.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Church Times 100 Top Christian Books
How to talk to parents of children with Down's syndrome
The Pornified mind and the glory of God and Men and Porn
How busy people make time to read- and you can too
Church plant postmortem (contains a great quote in the comments stream 'Failure is really redirection' Catherine Rohr)
Why your church is probably closer to planting a church than you think
Dream Year and Pharisectomy (which I got given by the author this week- lovely fellow)
10 Questions for those who are pro-abortion (US in context)
9 Vital signs about depression and suicide
Ten quick responses to atheist claims
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
I've started Edwards on the Christian life which is why he came to mind.
This post got me wondering about being wooly and silent on ethical issues. I do like Andrew Wilson.
The Bishop of Buckingham has a new book out and Andrew Goddard has thoroughly reviewed it.
The Guardian advises that the C of E shared conversations are proving to be challenging.
A verse in Colossians 4 jumped out at me this morning and I have been turning over in my mind what it means to wrestle in prayer.
Any leader should I suppose learn to ask better questions.
Maxwell, the yoda of leadership, has a book to help you.
I watched this again having sent it to someone yesterday.
Monday, October 06, 2014
Saturday, October 04, 2014
Six ways to benefit from reading genealogies
Tim Challies on How to get things done and Defining your Responsibility
A Christian response to ISIS via Preacher Smith
Top ten sermon introduction mistakes
Eugene Peterson's advice to pastors via Dash House
7 ways to appreciate your favourite bloggers
Bishop Alan should stick to the day job
A place to fail
What it takes to survive and thrive in ministry
Friday, October 03, 2014
Grace in Practice, Paul Zahl, Page 11
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Rick Warren is revisiting his sermons that you'd most want a friend to listen to.
This talk on Romans 7 really awakened my expository geek within.
You can find all the DG Conference talks here
I really enjoyed '25 struggles only ENFP's will understand' as just perhaps I may be one :) Helpful insights- especially if you have to work with me.......
Mark Meynell heartily recommends this BBC documentary about missionaries in North Korea
I spoke at my pal Will's tenth anniversary of his church plant- The Point Church. It was a joy. Check out Ten Years in Ten Minutes for a flavour of this wonderful bunch of saints and a nice reflection from Will and Caroline. This should encourage all budding planters or churches that hope to plant.
Tim Keller writes 'Different but the Same' to his church which makes for interesting reading.
A pal spent a whole afternoon picking my brains about grace. Reading 'Grace in Practice' started him on this fresh quest together with a John Peters talk on grace.
Andy Stanley's two questions.
An arty and musical pal is excited about Inherent Vice coming out.
Periodically, I reread 'Why work?' by Sayers.
Mrs C and I are these days mostly watching Suits.
Bishop Alan gets a response from Peter Ould on gay Bishops in the C of E.
I enjoyed reading The Philosopher (and through it I discovered these Max Lucado videos on Grace which I may now check out)
An Anglican apparently challenged Hillsong to set the Creed to music and they came up with this. I wonder what you make of it?