Sunday, March 24, 2013


If you've noticed the brevity of blogging it's because I've been a little preoccupied. I am getting married :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

For the pod: The Pastor to Pastors

Rick Warren packed more wisdom into a morning than it seemed humanly possible. If you are a disciple of Jesus on any level these two talks will have much to teach you but will most of all simply inspire you about Jesus and his church. I am no mega-church pastor and, probably, nor are you but Warren's years of thinking, learning and rich experience will be a blessing. Download these and listen to them on a long journey with friends or colleagues in your church. He's a deeply lovely man and his favourite thing is hugging people. I think he hugged just about everybody and chatted to most. He wrote such an encouraging note to someone in my church who has been reading PDL and needed encouragement and he was almost the last to leave the building. I think I may have a pastor crush :) He said he'd come back and teach us again.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Learning for other leaders

I am spending a day of meeting not one but two people who have influenced and helped me a lot.

We have been going through 'The purpose driven life' during lent and many of our saints are finding it a blessing. After spending a morning with Rick Warren it seems that what he doesn't know isn't worth knowing. Much encouraged and helped and if the content is posted on line I will post it here.  You might also like to check out Choose joy.

Krish who was also there this morning (and has an excellent blog by the way) posted Rick Warren's 'Five tips for talking to anyone'. Stunningly helpful.

If you don't know of Terry Virgo you may be blessed reading his life story No well worn paths. Excited about hearing him teach about grace.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday blog-sweep

Life is not about being liked

'The compulsion to be liked by anyone is actually the fear of man. Your sinful desire for likability is actually a revelation of your own fear. Humans were only made to fear one person–God. And when your value becomes defined by what other people think of you, you will not be “a good person” nor a “godly person”, but a narcissistic person who needs the praise of others for self-fulfillment. This will always disappoint.   

Ann Voskamp on Loving each other via Scott McKnight

 'It could happen like this: We could stop confusing unity with unanimity. God’s people may not have doctrinal unanimity, but we must have definite unity, if we’re ever to have deep credibility.'

Tim Challies shares a review of Rob Bell's new book and also The Washington Post review of McGrath's C S Lewis biography

If you use Google reader you'll want to update to Feedly but Google do still have great ads

If you watch this you may discover Chris Tomlin is probably writes the most sung songs in the world.

Some good advice on 'Ten things to consider before entering into a controversy'

If you love cities you will want to get hold of and read Why Cities Matter (foreword by Keller)

Four ways to grow in evangelism and some advice for planters to use their mistakes well.

This song has been on the radio all week and I can't get it out of my head.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Getting along

In Tim Challies post The Blogs the Battles and the Gospel Keller made me think quite deeply about how we should agree and disagree as Christians.

I meet with a group of pastors from different traditions early every Wednesday morning to pray. This is increasingly for me becoming a very special time. I am sure if we talked more we may find things we disagree on but as time goes by we seem to be becoming more and more agreed on the central things. What's more, we are learning about each other and what we each believe and how this can all fit together for the greater good. We long to be more concerned about the flourishing of 'the church' rather than, as we so often are, being preoccupied with 'our' own particular churches or tribe. .

All of this of course takes time, commitment, trust, prayer, friendship and a really good dollop of faith in the things we are expecting God to do in us, through us and through his church. Next week we have Terry Virgo coming to do some teaching for all our churches about grace. Here he is speaking about Spirit-filled leading.

I really commend going on this adventure with some local cross-denominational pastors/ Christians.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I am second

I have been thinking about what it means to put Jesus first and watch the 'I am second' films from time to time. Testimony's move me. We are running Alpha in April and Keyleigh's story always encourages me. Do send anyone you know our way who may be interested in exploring questions about Jesus.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rule of life

The Moravians rule of life is as follows:

1. Be true to Christ
2. Be kind to people
3. Take the gospel to the nations

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Saturday blog-sweep

Fascinating piece by the comedian Russell Brand in the Spectator.

'I looked to drugs and booze to fill up a hole in me. Unchecked, the call of the wild is too strong. I still survey streets for signs of the subterranean escapes that used to provide my sanctuary. I still eye the shuffling subclass of junkies and dealers, invisibly gliding between doorways through the gutters. I see the abundantly wealthy with destitution in their stare. I have a friend so beautiful, so haunted by talent that you can barely look away from her, whose smile is such a treasure that I have often squandered my sanity for a moment in its glow. Her story is so galling that no one would condemn her for her dependency on illegal anaesthesia, but now, even though her life is trying to turn around despite her, even though she has genuine opportunities for a new start, the gutter will not release its prey. The gutter is within.'

What's God will for my life by David Platt

We find ourselves buried under questions and decisions, and in the middle of it all we keep coming back to one question: What is God’s will for my life? What does God want me to do? How do I find God’s will for my life?

How to get along for 500 days together from BBC News

The search is on for a couple to train as astronauts, for a privately funded mission to Mars. But wouldn't any couple squabble if cooped up together for 18 months? Explorer Deborah Shapiro, who spent more than a year with her husband in the Antarctic, provides some marital survival tips.

What your people need from you most via Dash House

Above all else, what your family and church need is for you to be captured and captivated by the King of Kings. You should probably read that again. I need to and I wrote it. 

Seven ways to pray for your children from Desiring God

So pray for your children. Jesus promises us that if we ask, seek, and knock the Father will give us good in return (Luke 11:9-13), even if the good isn't apparent for 40 years. And because Jesus regularly asked those who came to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51), we know that he wants us to be specific with our requests.

Friday, March 08, 2013


Today is International Women's Day and this is essential reading.

And so the next Bell debate begins.

 This will have your toe tapping

"To be 'a leader' is meaningless without context. A leader of what? Too many of us have succumbed to the idea that 'leaders' are a specific type of people or that 'leadership' is a character quality to be obtained like political capital - the more the better. But I view leadership differently. Leadership isn't a goal. Leadership is a role. Wisdom and strength are what we should pursue. Not leadership. Wisdom is discerning when to lead. Strength comes from practicing wisdom. Leadership is a role that changes hands depending on context. In that light, it is important to learn how to lead not because you want to be 'a leader' but because when your wisdom and strength have placed you in a position of leadership, you don't want to screw it up"

Rachel Held Evans 
Thomas Creedy

A good leader takes a little more than their share of the blame and a little less than their share of the credit

Tweeted by Nicky Gumbel

I found reading about 'The trajectory argument' interesting

Thursday, March 07, 2013

A few things that caught my eye

Here are some Mother's day community resources from the film Guilt Trip

I read Mike Breen's post 'Are we on the brink of a new reformation?' [essential reading] about the difference between success and fruitfulness and have much to ponder as a result.

As someone who for a season found sleep difficult, as many do, this article by Suzanne Moore was interesting.

Martha Lane Fox (of Last minute fame) says @ Path is her favourite app.

Nicky Gumbel says his confessional preach 'Time to Stretch' admitting his enrolling in some counselling has generated more feedback than any other.

I was on retreat with a crowd of Church planters on which Will van der Hart spoke about this work and his website Mind and Soul. It is a terrific resource for questions about, and solutions to, mental health challenges (anxiety, panic attack, insomnia and depression.)You might like to read his book about worry called 'The Worry Book'.

On the same retreat I laughed till I cried with a pal discussing the website You only had one job

A Vicar pal is listening to The Real Marriage with a couple whose marriage is struggling in his church. They just listen/watch the talk together and then chat and it's proving very helpful.

Cranmer is interesting on celibate priests

Starting from scratch in Montreal and Ten questions every church planter should ask

Keller's preaching series that changed everything for me is now available as a book.

Jesus is.... is on my list as a next read and finally Rachel Held Evan says 'I'm ashamed'.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


'There is a great soul danger in spirituality without transcendence. When God exists to serve the creature, and church is about meeting my needs, I am sailing the ship of my own soul toward the rocks and will run aground in idolatry. This dreadful journey is detailed in Romans 1: 18-23......The dilemma of the human race is not that we are unaware of God but that when push comes to shove we value ourselves more highly than we value God.'

Vertical Church by James MacDonald

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