Saturday, November 29, 2014
14 ways to teach kids to be grateful
5 Quotes from G K Chesterton on Gratitude
The Rob Bell Show
Rick Warren on Unity with Catholics
Our secular salvation myth distances us from reality
This atheist is thankful for the clergy
Wilderness, Depression and Stars in the Night
5 ways to refresh your Bible reading
How do Jesus and Paul fit together?
5 mistakes people make when reading the Bible
Why not same-sex marriage?
Friday, November 28, 2014
2. We are going to start 2015 with a sermon series called 'Simplify' inspired by Bill Hybels newest book.
3. We are then diving into the Psalms with a bit of help from Eugene.
4. I gave a friend a book and she texted me 'I just want to says thanks for Lysa's book 'The best yes'- it blessed me and my home group hugely!!!!!'
5. I can't stop listening to the song 'Love'
6. I have been working through James MacDonald's 'Weekend features' on repentance and strongholds. A much needed listen for my, at times, hard heart and mind. This sentence lingered with me 'God sometimes lets us feel the full weight of our choices'
7. As you know, I love a books of the year list and the new biographies of Hannah More and Whitfield look interesting.
8. Mrs C tells me her Ma is being mightily blessed by the book Prayer.
9. I do enjoy a leadership book and this one looks interesting which also contains this TK quote from this set of sermons.
10. Did you know Amazon prime allows you to lend and borrow books? I haven't quite yet worked out how it all works.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
My pal Ellie guests singing her own song 'Joy comes in the morning' and it's a real joy to listen to her amazing voice. Connor Patterson and his brother Johnny's song 'Love' is also wonderful. It has a moving voice-over of some words from Augustine that made me cry when I listened to them 2 minutes into the song.
I spent five Soul Survivor's in the rain with Johnny and Connor and this worship album is worth all the mud and leaky tents as I listen to the fire for Jesus that now burns in their heart. Here is a request. Please give them some support by downloading it and spreading the word across Social Media. It's time for a new song writer on the British worship scene and at 17 years old Connor is quite possibly just what it needs.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
What does it mean to be gospel-centred and Have no fear of them
No, you are not running late- you are rude and selfish
Don't miss the cross
I am second
Dressed for the moment
Peter Ould's Review of 'More perfect Union?'
10 keys to building strong healthy teams
Time assets vs Time debts via Dash House
A few thoughts on mission and disciple making movements
An Accurate Parody: On Andrew Wilson and Matthew Vines
Does God have a purpose for my life and Three ways the gospel changes our generosity
My secrets may hurt more people than me
N T Wright on 'Marriage as a Signpost'
35 Things we'd better tell our sons about Harassment, Assault and 'Boys will be boys'
Friday, November 21, 2014
The title of the song written by Matt Redman 'Thank you for the blood ' is a matter of crucial significance for the Christian, not least when it comes to our understanding of communion. We are immersed as a church in the letter to Galatians and yesterday, in our staff bible study, we had a lengthy and very interesting discussion about law and grace, legalism and what happens at communion.
This is how this issue came up. Galatians is about freedom from the law and Paul's assertion that we are not bound by the worship regulations of the old covenant. Hence, there is no need for men to be circumcised and former Jewish Christians kids in Galatia can now have pork pies in their school lunch boxes. The 'priesthood' of the temple has been replaced by the 'priesthood of all believers' and freedom abounds and should abound in the church. The religious traditions and ceremonial law of Judaism have been swept aside and grace set in its place. From this grace flows obedience [which comes from the Spirit -Gal 5- do listen to 'How to change'] and with this obedience joy follows.
Why then, says someone, do we still have so many religious hoopla's and do and don'ts in most churches with a special person in a funny costume to do the 'holy stuff' at communion? Surely all that went out at Calvary and wouldn't Paul be as incensed by the 'religiosity' and law-keeping of most churches as he was by the Judaisers of AD 50? We then embarked on a long discussion about what it is I do as a priest and had a debate about transubstantiation. As I was about to embark on a thorough overview of Reformation history which would have been fascinating, together with a potted history of the C of E, sadly time was up (much to the team's relief) but the thoughts have lingered.
As providence would have it, I read later in the day '5 Reasons I reject the Doctrine of Transubstantiation' the contents of which fed into my already churning mind.
Our walk through Galatians continues on Sunday and please do feel free to join us and bring friends. We endeavour to not be too religious so come and see how we're doing.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
' .....if you are a parent and you want to know how the gospel should shape the way you raise your kids- seriously buy Elise Fitzpatrick's book 'Give them grace: dazzling your kids with the love of Jesus'- it is mind-blowing, unbelievable and it's the best parenting book that has ever been written...that's no exaggeration, in my humble opinion.'
Feel free to listen to the whole talk on Romans 7-8 or probably better still spend the time reading the book. As ever, feel free to disagree and if you have found your 'best parenting book' already then do share it.
I have been reading 'Prayer ' by Keller and there is a section on Ephesians 1 that I have been mulling at the same time as coming across 'Prayermate'. Tonight on 'The Prayer Course', in rather timely fashion, we are looking at the subject of 'Persevering in prayer'.
Here is a primer on how to set up Prayermate and do feel free to include me on one of your lists!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
An BBC post entitled 'What the Bible says about women'
The latest C of E attendance figures by Diocese.
I have always tried to cultivate being a lifelong learner .
I am grateful to Darryl Dash for linking to this post and have been pondering how I am doing on the four things.
We enjoyed watching 'Argo.'
Tim Keller has some new preaching lectures and a book on preaching called 'How to preach' is coming out in 2015.
These five things are worth including when preparing a talk for youth.
I've been reading Mike Breen's 'Covenant and Kingdom' in preparation for a sermon on Galatians 4.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Following God can end badly
The church needs to discover its heart
Jesus and the modern man
The Zimzum of Rob Bell
Ordering your private world
Andrew Wilson has a satirical take on idols
Healthy leader healthy church
Thank heavens for Justin Welby
The answer to 'why' is 'who' (compelling story about an Iranian pastor in captivity)
Six reasons established churches should plant churches
Thomas Creedy on links to the controversial
Encountering God in prayer
4 dangers for complementarians
You've got to love a country song about baptism via Preachersmith
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I also enjoyed Tim Challies post called 'Taming the email beast' in the excellent 'How to get things' done series.
Who doesn't need some help and wisdom on dealing with email?
Monday, November 10, 2014
A friend sent me a great song and it led me to this one which has now got stuck in my head.
Anne Lamott on the true gift of friendship
I am mulling on this ditty on holiness from my BiOY this morning and loved the CS Lewis quote.
I love a list and leadership and productivity guru Michael Hyatt has shared his top ten books of all time.
I have revisited his post on Evernote which I am now using more and is fast becoming where I store everything. Don't buy a scanner (as Hyatt suggests and will cost you £350) just download scan drop and you can scan from a standard HP scanner.
I have taken delivery of Prayer by TK and I am just finishing Miracles which I have really enjoyed.
My friend's life verse is Acts 9:17
David Keen has the latest C of E stats.
The Natural Evangelism Course looks like good stuff and might help C of E numbers a tad. I am going on this in January to 'sharpen my saw' as Covey would say.
We are running the Prayer Course with a group. I sent them a couple of talks on prayer last week called Pray First by Chris Hodges and everyone listened to them. I was much encouraged. They are good stuff.
A pal is using Precept Ministry study material in her home group which were new to me. She says it's brilliant.
We've finished watching 'Suits' which is a box set worth asking Santa for.
So far on our lists for Christmas Mrs C and I have a cling film cutter which my Ma is going to give us. We'll be made up and it's £5.99. Christmas is cheap in our house :)
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul’s tank with the glory and love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful. I call this “love economics.” You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm.
If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love “in the bank” to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment.
To have a marriage that sings requires a Spirit-created ability to serve, to take yourself out of the center, to put the needs of others ahead of your own. The Spirit’s work of making the gospel real to the heart weakens the self-centeredness in the soul. It is impossible for us to make major headway against self-centeredness and move into a stance of service without some kind of supernatural help.
The deep happiness that marriage can bring, then, lies on the far side of sacrificial service in the power of the Spirit. That is, you only discover your own happiness after each of you has put the happiness of your spouse ahead of your own, in a sustained way, in response to what Jesus has done for you.
– from The Meaning of Marriage
Tim and Kathy Keller
H/T Trevin Wax
Saturday, November 08, 2014
Here's where your neighbours are theologically (US context but interesting)
Why I don't go by 'Pastor Mark' via Dash House
The bowling ball and the feather
If you can't lead a church don't lead a church
Karen Prior on her new biography of Hannah More via David Murray
How a mega-church melts down
Cranmer on feminist theology via Jesus Creed
Ten mistakes parents make with teens
Saturday, November 01, 2014
I am really enjoying reading this and it's a book sceptical friends and interested seekers might find compelling.
The tragic tie between abortion and down syndrome and UK Abortion Chief 'Abortion should be as easily available as contraception'
What is my purpose
Mars Hill dissolving into local churches
One more reason to get a good nights sleep
Extraverts and Introverts
Brittany Maynard and God
Tim Cook speaks up
An easy or Awesome life. Choose wisely via Dash House
Why are so many middle-aged men falling into sexual sin? via David Murray
Confessions of a rich pastor
Christianity is getting hard to control in China
6 Nuggets of wisdom for leaders
10 questions on prayer with Tim Keller
The metric of a prophet
7 marks of a deeply deadly sin
The both/ands and 175 Free Theological and Puritan ebooks via Mark Meynell
Luther's 95 Theses