Saturday, November 28, 2009


Sadly I write from my sick bed where I am coughing and spluttering.

To pass the hours, I have been watching the excellent The History of Christianity which I think I will get on DVD. ( A friend bought the book and it is just too thick)

I am sure I should have a plan for my sweeps but I just click about and share a few things- some that make me think or challenge me or I just that I find interesting.

Some present ideas for children and an amusing article on too many toys and on what's popular.

Carnage in Sheffield

Shane Claibourne in Esquire

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Off to spend the day at this

A few bits and bobs

Are you thirsty?

I am enjoying reading the latest MacDonald.

Is Rob Bell and evangelical? Part one and two

My friend is thinking of spending a month on an Ignation silent retreat. I think he will go nuts but there you go. I sent him some notes on Life Goals.

Ravi is on form

Next time you hear from me I hope to a walking vision in action:)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quantities of quotes

Here is the biggest source of Christian quotes and enough to keep you in ditties for a lifetime. Grace quotes is now a resources link on my sidebar.

(H/T Take the vitaminz)

The Manhattan Declaration

A document I think I should read.

Christmas Books

That time is upon us again where we start to look back on the year. I confess I do rather enjoy a good list and a recommendation. The Spectator has asked all its writers for their recommendations of 2009 reads calling them Christmas Books 1 and 2. (Enjoy a coffee and click through the many recommendations)

Here are some of the selection that may perhaps provide some ideas for your Christmas List-a good mixture of novels, history and politics.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An education

I have seen 'An education' which I really enjoyed. It is the story of Lynn Barber (the journalist) written by Nick Hornby of High Fidelity fame. It is a good piece of British film making and story telling. My favorite character was the Dad. It has been made all the more thought-provoking upon the discovery that it was the school a friend attended!

Well worth a trip to the flicks on a wet winter evening.

I always enjoy seeing the cinema ads. Apparently a BMW will make you joyful and the source of true values is Chivas Regal. Our hidden idoltary is revealed again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The wind blows

I spent the weekend at Ashburnham with the 35 folk on our Alpha Course teaching about the Holy Spirit.

My theological cemetery Principle used to say if you are going to survive in ministry

"You have to know why you get out of bed in the morning"

Well, it is a weekend like the one I have just had that helps me see again why I do what I do.

As four of us drove home listening to the mesmeric Mumford and Sons, the lyric from 'Roll away the stone' seemed to sum it all up.

"It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But you say 'That's exactly how this grace thing works’
It's not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start"

Amazing grace.

Startled by the wonder yet again.


A look at the music industry called Ripped Off

Someone was talking about being missional before it was all the buzz (1 for the pod)

Scot McKnight on Twitter Theology

Rob Bell on sermon length

A thought on life and taxes

A Keller nugget

And this made me smile

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

At least I have found one other person who likes Peterson

This blog like many others has a few hobby-horses and one of them is Eugene Peterson.

The first book I read by him was during my preparations for my ordination selection panel and is called The Contemplative Pastor. I have since read almost everything he has written. I think he is challenging to many because in a church so often characterized by a need to put people in boxes he won't let you put him in one. How frustrating for us.

Peterson loves poetry, novels, art, food, nature, John Calvin and seems to dislike powerpoint, conferences, leaders, personalities and contemporary worship songs. The clue to him might be the word he chose for his five books on theology-'Conversation'. So, to read and understand Peterson you probably need to like and enjoy a conversation. So many who profess an interest and passion for God seem to not like this word at all nor its practice. It is a word that requires us all to be vulnerable and to realize that we might have something more we need to learn.

Peterson is getting some interest because a young, go-getting US mega-church pastor of the Village (6000 and growing) called Matt Chandler quoted him in a talk. This talk was possibly given to an audience full of those sound non-conversational types who are exactly the crowd who tut at the mere mention of the Message. (Some of my dear friends tut so I say this with a smile)

The IMonk has explored this at length and I share the view that to do ministry without having read Working the Angles from which Chandler quotes will be the poorer for the neglect. I agree with him that Chandler is an inspiring man who seems to know his own mind. He also seems to get and preach the gospel as illustrated below.

Recently Chandler was interviewed and it is a very helpful six minutes and tells you a bit about what makes him tick and listen out for the Peter Drucker quote. If you want one for the ipod I recommend this.

Finally, if you have never come across Peterson here he is as you might have expected-in conversation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Never silent

A pal today said he has just finished reading a book that has stirred him more than any other this decade. Yes, he did say this decade.

Now that is quite a statement.

I really trust my friend. He says everyone who is ordained in the C of E or leading a church with a passion for the gospel should read it.

It is called 'Never silent'- let's all order a copy shall we.

May it stir us too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Random thoughts on Leadership

This post is a great one and here are some of the key thoughts but it is worth checking out the link.

What no one else is doing. “To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing.” Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor,

Become a Student: “The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.” Al Ries, Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It

Breaking Paradigms “What do I believe is impossible to do in my field but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?” Joel Barker, Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future

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

One for the ipod

I drove from friend's yesterday and did some listening. "Do you love God?" is one of those talks I will return to again and again and I hope it may bless you too.

God's Soup Kitchen

My friend Tim who blogs has written this which I liked.

"This table is God’s soup kitchen. This table is where God feeds the hungry, the outcast, the disabled, the orphaned, the abused, the neglected, the lonely, and the lost. And this means at least two things: First, this table is not for people who are fine thank you very much. This food is not for the well-fed, those who get along pretty well on their own, the fit, or the popular. This table is not for people are basically good but screw up every once in a while. This table is for the messed up. It’s for people who are failures. It’s for parents who have failed their children. It’s for children who have failed their parents. It’s for spouses who have failed one another. This table is for the needy, the broken, and the weak. It is for those who are starving for God’s grace and mercy, and they will die if they do not have it. If you know your need, if you know that you are weak, that you are lonely, that you are failure on your own, and that you need your faithful Father’s love and care, then come. This meal is for you. This is grace and mercy for you. Secondly, Paul says that when we eat this sacrament we need to discern the Lord’s body, we need to see Jesus. And as we have emphasized before, this doesn’t mean squinting hard at the bread and wine trying to see flesh and blood somehow. Paul is talking about seeing Jesus in those around you, seeing Jesus next to you and behind you as you serve one another and partake together. But putting these two things together means that Jesus wants you to see Him in the neediness of those around you; He wants you to see Him in the hungry, the outcast, the disabled, the orphaned around you. He wants you to see Him there. He wants you to see Him in those people who are different from you; He wants you to see Him in those you have had disagreements with. He wants you to see Him even in those who may have wronged you. He wants you to give them bread for their hunger and give them wine for their thirst. So come to God’s soup kitchen. Come to the banquet spread for the needy of the world. Come and rejoice because there is plenty of grace for you. Jesus gives Himself to you, and He calls you to eat, drink, and rejoice in and with one another."


Rather a lack of posting I am afraid but here are some things that caught my eye.

Keller on Calvin and his friends and a talk on Counterfeit Gods.

The story of the bible in four minutes

An attack on legalism which is a good thing.

David Bosch defines evangelism

And Rowan seems lost for an idea of what to do next but fortunately God isn't!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


5 creativity equations

Six insightful minutes from Perry Noble.

Some advice not to play the comparison game.

Nine important minutes on the prosperity gospel.

And Pastors can never be justified by performance.

The hills are alive

I have had some time on holiday in Switzerland seeing friends.

Bill recommended A million miles in a thousand years as the best book he has read this year. He says it makes you "want to live a better life" and I tend to agree. A stunningly good and uplifting read.

I watched a couple of films. Defiance tells a moving true story of some Jews in WW2 and Benjamin Button reverses the story of life.-clever stuff well told.

I have in the past recommended a band called Mumford and Sons and I saw Marcus by chance playing golf the other day. I am happy to report they are No 1 in the download charts.

You heard it here first.

I also recommend this superb album by Charlie Winston called Hobo.

If you want to spend time with someone who writes on Jesus and prayer do read this.

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