Monday, September 26, 2016

Keep running

'All death can do to the Christian is make their lives infinitely better'

Tim Keller
h/t Tim Challies

This post entitled 'Five ways to recover your passion for pastoral leadership' is helpful and encouraging.

I would like to tell you that I have not been able to put Keller's new book down but I have because life and deep reading were not able to be bed-fellows this weekend. However, I am on page 80 and amidst all the intellectual discourse (of which there is lots) I am being renewed and reminded of grace. If I lived in Oxford or Cambridge or a University town full of clever secular people and intellectuals, which I once did, I think I would be giving 'Making sense of God' away to every other person I met. Andrew Wilson has reviewed it and given it a hearty thumbs up.

I had a chat with someone recently about 'Mindfulness for parents'  which seems to be based loosely on Bhuddism (as far as I have yet worked it out).

I preached a sermon about salvation and as part of my preparation I read 'Stop asking Jesus into your heart' which is a book about assurance. I am convinced that if Christians were more assured they wouldn't worry so much or be so interesting in chasing more 'stuff' or be so fearful of what others thought of them or get so easily thrown by suffering and disappointment. I have all those emotions/reactions at different times but considerably less so I pray having read this book.

Alister McGrath interviewed here used to run my Vicar factor and is a very clever and fascinating man. I remember reading in his biography that during his year off he learnt Russian and German in preparation for reading biochemistry at Oxford. I went back-packing in American and drank Budweiser and chased girls (unsuccessfully) which perhaps explains why I am not the leading theologian of my generation- nor very likely to be....

Miriam Swaffield has some fire in her belly and you should check out this talk on holiness which she gave at Focus.

This resignation by Pete Wilson from his church made me cry and moved me and I appreciated this post about burnout.

A pal asked me to name ten things that I think move the audience about this guy that might be transferable to preachers:

1. His ordinary 'just turned up' clothing
2. His non-celebrity looks
3. His passion and zeal for his song
4. He's singing to someone who appears to not be in the room
5. His upward gaze and posture
6. His quiet confidence that what's inside him is bigger than him
7. He knows the words, hits the notes and can sing the tune
8. He's not playing to the judges or the audience
9. The hand in the pocket
10. It's summed up when the first judge says' 'welcome back'

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