Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday musing

1. 'Love Big Be Well' may very well make it as one of my books of the year.

2. Speaking of books, a pal put me on to a fellow called Ryan Holiday who produces a monthly book recommendation email that I now enjoy. It's where I discovered 'The Shepherd's Life'. These are his Best reads of 2017.

3. If you want a stunningly good talk on calling then 'Real Security and  the Call of God' is for you.

4. I am engaging in a more real way with the incarnation as we have a baby which is due to arrive any day.

5. My devotional for 2018 is 'Seeking God's Face' which I began in Advent. I've done a few years of BiOY and sensed it was time for something new.

6. I am mulling on the fact that I am just as loved by Jesus even though less people are coming to our church than a year ago. Surprisingly, no one is interested in inviting me to speak at a conference to share the profound things I am learning about my heart, myself and the gospel as I reflect on the nature of Jesus's upside down kingdom. My friend, mentor and fellow race runner is pastor of a slightly declining church too so we make an interesting pair in this season of our lives.

7. I have been really enjoying cooking recipes from Leon One Pot.

8. I've been wondering what Eugene Peterson would say to my pal who told me his church has grown so much he no longer has time to work on sermons. He is a far more gifted leader than I and a very good big-hearted friend and encourager. He tells me he now uses superb sermon outlines of a gifted mega-church pastor and his folk absolutely love their content and the church is growing even more. So many things to muse on from these couple of sentences. Now, I've googled the preacher in question and he has written a blog post complaining about 'pastoral plagiarism' by other pastors. I then googled his name and 'sermon outlines' and discovered his own website sells PDF's of his talks. If you sell PDF's of your own talks then it should not be a huge shock that people then preach and use them? I could write so much more on this but I won't....

9. 'Our entire story is predicated on the assumption that we're massive screw-ups. What's supposed to be unique to Christians is how we’re the first to recognize the trouble we're in, the first to cry uncle. If we want to lead in anything, it's this prayer: Help me, I've made a mess of things.

And boy, how often have we made a mess of things. We've screwed up more than a few of the basics: neglecting care of the poor and the children, failing to nurture creation, participating in systems of power rather than sacrificially laying down our power for others. And yet this is why we need the church all the more. This is not the time to surrender the whole idea of church, nor is it time to retreat into empty theological ideals or rhetoric that have nothing to with our place and our neighbours. We don't  need religious platitudes. We need an actual community of friends who take responsibility for..... [fill in the place name of your church]' 

Love Big, Be Well, p.26

10. This is a good piece on the Pope wanting to change the Lord's prayer.

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Saturday blog-sweep

 Some interesting books for pastors The State we're in Attack at dawn Joseph Scriven Joy comes with the morning When small is beautiful