Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday Topics

1. These books were recommended to me recently. Reading good biographies has been grist to my spiritual mill down the years and it will be to yours too I pray:

Evidence not seen

We died before we came here

Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ

2. I was single until the age of 45 and this book looks like a good one from a limited canon on the subject.

3.  I take an interest in teachers, books, preachers and para-church things. A recent thought is that if a particular speaker or guru plays a bigger part in your life and discipleship than the local church you've got something very out of wack. The problem with the big speaker or person with a ministry to ' ......' is that it too easily becomes about you and them and not about Jesus and his people (the church). By all means listen to a podcast of this or that person and try to consume a rich and varied diet of teaching but not at the expense of connecting with the people of God in a local church.

4. We're enjoying Chimerica and are watching it on C4 catch-up. We were surprised by this ad for a morning after pill. The lie is that 'you are your own master'. You're not because none of us are.

5. David Bennett's conversion and calling is fascinating.

6. I appreciate Jared Wilson's grasp of grace.

7. I have been pondering this A W Tozer quote:

'God waits to be wanted'

(A War of Loves, p.77)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thursday thoughts

1.  We have an H T Barnes hosted on July 11th to launch David Bennett's book 'A War of Loves' @ 8pm.  His testimony speaks powerfully into our contemporary debates about sexuality and identity and he will share some of his story on the night.  The book is a compelling and powerful read.

2.  On the subject of sexuality, a pal commended Jon Tyson's recent sermon in his series 'The Controversial Jesus' which they thought was the most helpful on the subject they had ever listened to.


3.  I am currently studying 1 Corinthians and recommend the short commentary by Leon Morris. He says more in one paragraph than others do with ten times the amount of words.

4.  It is Christian Aid week and I often ponder how long such a week can be sustained on a national level in a post-Christian culture. Christian Aid do amazing work but their brand is now an anathema to most of the culture who's doors are knocked on. 

5. I was recommended 'This cultural moment' as a good podcast. One for when you next walk the dog (if you have one)

6.  A couple of members of our team attended the National Foodbank Conference (we run ours here) and the quote that stuck with both of them was this:

 '...the opposite of poverty is community'

7.  An update on Lambeth 2020 which is shaping up to be a seminal moment for the C of E.

8. We are excited to be supporting (with a couple of other churches and initiated by 'The Riverbank Trust') the birth of one of these locally which I shared with our church family last Sunday.




Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Wednesday wanderings

1. Some wonderful folk emailed me to encourage me about how the blog had been a blessing to them down the years which has stirred me back here. The last few months have been busy, challenging and testing, at times totally wonderful and encouraging which has all led me to neglect my own ministry of encouragement here. Anyway, I am back to it if anyone is still interested.

2.  I read a story called 'The church on the porch' from a book called 'What Jesus started' in last Sunday's sermon,  It seemed to spark a cord and reading Addison's book has given me my August sermon series.

3.  I have spent the last couple of days at LC19 and was very blessed. Two things will certainly stick with me: the testimony a friend gave and Jon Tyson's talk on Hosea 10. A pal texted me to ask if I thought the conference was 'worth the money' and for those moments alone the answer is an unquestioning yes.

4.  A statement I have been pondering: 'Jesus never fulfilled his potential but he fulfilled his purpose' 

5. Here are three leadership questions to chew over on a wet Wednesday morning:

a.  What is no longer working and needs to be changed?
b.  What is no longer working and needs to be stopped?
c.  If someone replaced me what would be the first thing they would change?

6.  'Worship is a strategy where we interrupt the preoccupation with ourselves and attend to the presence of God' Eugene Peterson quoted by Matt Redman

7.  A pal is reading a book called 'Leadership pain' which I have just ordered.

8.  I listened to an interesting talk by Mark Sayers (author of this book which I read a while ago) on the five global trends impacting the church. It's worth checking out.

-Radical connectivity
-A world of competing visions
-Faltering secular revival
-A deep hunger for a better world
-The great disillusionment

9. Look out for Simon's new book 'Jesus is amazing'.

10.  What to do when you attend a Type A leadership conference and you're not Type A? The main speaker at the conference who is a remarkable man has a church of over 100K, six kids that he home schools, runs The Global Leadership Summit as a tiny sideline in his schedule, writes books by the dozen, reads the Bible for two hours a day and looks like Sylvester Stallone after all the time he spends in the gym. It's a major undertaking for me to get a pair of shoes on my two sons and get them out of the front door each morning. Mike Todd, who also spoke at LC19, had a lovely phrase 'the pace of grace'. Grace indeed......