Thursday, December 24, 2009
He seemed to sum up the trouble we are in in secular, materialistic Britain. It is an interview with a thoughtful, lucid and interesting man called John Arthur. He, like 500k other elderly in the UK, will spend his Christmas alone. Do listen to it if you can it is called 'I miss the warmth of family'
One of my many things today has been, with another, to take a dear lady communion this morning. We read scripture, we prayed and then we all sang 'Thine be the glory' together. It was a holy moment.
I love the church.
Bless you all this season.
Signing off now for a wee blogoliday
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Reformissionary offers up his Albums of 2009
A disturbing report called 'Sinking or Swimming'
Light, Life and Love in a bunker.
Tim Challies is conducting an interesting discussion with an athiest
And ten more books read in 2009
A friend posts his concern about mockery.
And the difference between orphans and children.
My friend has started a blog for her YWAM DTS adventure in Lesotho which will be fun to follow.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Purpose Driven Life (the world's best selling book) has a superb first line.
"It's not about you."
As you look towards the next decade here are some things you might like to journal about (put a moleskine on you Christmas list or buy a present of one for yourself). You might want to take half a day or a couple of hours over the holiday and stand back and also look forward. Here are some ideas.
There are lots more ideas here and watching this is helpful too.
1. Before I die
As I am so often reminded our time is finite but no matter how long we may or may not have it can be fruitful. Klug recommends writing a list of '100 things I would like to do before I die'. Let your imagination run riot, you may repeat things and don't worry about practicality. Then turn your list into a journal entry and offer it as prayer.
You might want to work this up into a PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT (I have linked to the Fanklin Covey one which might be a help)
2. I have a dream
What are your dreams. Allow yourself to dream with hope. Dreams for your work, your children, your family and friends, your church. Again don't try to be too practical just dream.
3. Back from the future
Leap forward 25 years and imagine that the 25 years that have past have been happy, blessed and fruitful. Describe what has happened in the last quarter of a century. I love what Rick Warren says "What's in my hand?". What have you been given and how are you planning to steward it. You have gifts, resources, background, influence, education, relationships and circumstances. "What is in your hand?" This is perhaps your question my friend.
4. Dying and rising
Martin Luther (following Paul) saw the Christian life as daily death and rebirth-as the old nature dies and the new nature lives in God's resurrection power. Look at the pattern of your life. What is dying in your life (relationships, commitments, dreams, goal) What is rising? (new habits, hopes, challenges and experiences)
5. Spiritual legacy
'What will I leave behind?' Imagine you have reached the end of your pilgrimage on earth. Where have you sown? To whom do your bequeath your material and your spiritual resources.
6. The final journey
Take some time to write down what you think about life and death. Where did these ideas come from? What questions do you have? Ask yourself 'Has my life been wasted?' 'What do I still need to do?' 'If my time was finite and a lot less than I might be assuming- how would I be planning differently?' "How do you want to be remembered?'. 'What will your obituary be?' Challenging stuff I know but it is the one certainty we all face so we may as well wake up to this reality.
Monday, December 21, 2009
A very helpful post on navigating through questions about evolution.
Here are some books and some more books and even more books.
John Howard Yoder ( H/T Scott McKnight)
Some amazing spontaneous worship (H/T Joe Thorn)
The many ways of destroying a church
And if you read a better illustration of the incarnation this Christmas then do let me have it.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I thought so.
What usually happens is you leave and go somewhere else. This happens in businesses, the arts, in parenting, in marriage and in the church. People are always 'leaving' in life-sometimes physically or maybe just emotionally-but going somewhere they think will be better-but seemingly not at Google.
What would it mean to give 20% to your spouse?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
1. From running programs to building people
2. From running events to training people
3. From using people to growing people
4. From filling gaps to training new workers
5. From solving problems to helping people make progress
6. From clinging to ordained ministry to developing team leadership
7. From focusing on church polity to forging ministry partnerships
8. From relying on training institutions to establishing local training
9. From focusing on immediate pressures to aiming for long-term expansion
10. From engaging in management to engaging in ministry
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
But you say 'That's exactly how this grace thing works’
It's not the long walk home that will change this heart
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Assumptions “If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? Why shouldn’t we walk out, come back in and do it ourselves?” Andy Grove, Former CEO, INTEL
When memories exceed your dreams: “When your memories exceed your dreams the end is near.” Chuck Bentley, President of Crown Ministries
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
"Larry Crabb , the psychologist and biblical counsellor has spent a quarter of a century puzzling over how people heal and grow and he came to this conclusion
“When two people connect……something is poured out of one and into the other that has the power to heal the soul of its deepest wounds and restore it to health…..In recent days, I have made a shift. I am now working toward the day when communities of God’s people, ordinary Christians whose lives regularly intersect, will accomplish most of the good that we now depend on mental health professionals to provide. And they will do it by connecting with each other in ways that only the gospel can make possible”
A few years ago, I had my first encounter with a University Mission after having been a Christian for 15 years. I was not a Christian at University and this encounter with students was my first and has stayed with me ever since. What struck me was the extreme relational disconnection. They were very fearful, religious, joyless and were all reading books about gender which seemed an odd choice to have at the top of the list of books young disciples needed to reading. They were not only fearful of anyone who was not a Christian but also of other Christians who did not share their theological outlook. What was the most difficult for mission is that few appeared to have any friends or healthy relationships with others (Burke calls this 'Connecting through affinity' Page 280). Our affinities it became clear were limited and they were, I concluded, one of the most unhappy communities I have ever come across.
This has stayed with me as one of the weirder expressions of Christian community and mission I have witnessed. Since then, I have had to admit that the Church as a whole is rather good on occasions at being similarly life-less, odd, disconnected and judgmental and perhaps that is why so often we are so ineffective at connecting with people and their needs (as No perfect people observes). I do have a caveat, that my experience of University mission was not I hope representative of CU's generally but I only have one to go on.
Dallas Willard has observed a similar thing of Christians generally as quoted in No perfect people:
"How many people are radically and permanently repelled from the Way by Christians who are unfeeling, stiff, unapproachable, boringly life-less, obsessive and dissatisfied? Yet such Christians are everywhere, and what they are missing is a wholesome liveliness......of God's loving rule..."Spirituality" wrongly understood or pursued is a major source of human misery and rebellion against God"
I enjoyed this book and John Burke has shared his heart and his learning helpfully. There are rather too many personal story case studies (quite a few I skipped) and lots of apologetics (skipped a bit of this too) but there is much to be challenged by and to think on.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This is a great talk on 'do not make it difficult for the Gentiles'
My pal preached a great sermon on Psalm 119 called 'Don't neglect God's word'. This is good preaching. If you like this then read this.
Matt Chandler explains repentance in 'A Continuing Ethic'
I have also listened to the first two in this series on Luke.
My friend was moved and stirred by this.
We are passing some John Lennox talks around our staff team from this years New Wine. As an Apologist, there are few better- Part 1 and Part 2
Happy listening :)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I went to see Jay-z a few weeks ago and so why not a bit of rap for a Tuesday. Watch the first two minutes of this for a gospel treat.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Last week, I attended the Leadership Summit and at some point will blog some thoughts. As always, I bought a book or two and saw on the table the new work by Gordon MacDonald who is one of my people.
It is called 'Who stole my church?'
Much of what is cool and trendy in church is about planting new things but the real challenge it seems to me is the task of renewing what has been around a wee bit more that 20 years. If you are faced with a church that has been around longer than that (mine since 1870) then this fascinating book might be a real help to you.
MacDonald convenes what he calls a Discovery Group with the key stakeholders in his church and leads them in a journey of what they might consider to be the 21st century church and how they might face the changes and challenges together.
I can think of many friends who would benefit from reading this thoughtful story. This one is highly recommended.