Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday musing

1. My pal Matthew preached on 'Hope' yesterday and I enjoyed the phrase 'confident anticipation'.

2. This morning I told the story of our church plant to someone which was a helpful process of recalling all that God has done.

3. There is much talk about 'Mindfulness' these days and here are two perspectives about the idea of 'Christian mindfulness'. A yes and a no.

4. I enjoyed this piece about the benefits of long term tenure.

5. Keller has a book about Christmas coming out.

6. Always a good corrective to read 'Four warning signs you won't survive in ministry'

7. I am being blessed by my immersion in Song of Songs through reading Charlie Cleverly's new book 'The Song of Songs: Exploring the Divine Romance'. He was my Vicar when I lived in Oxford.

8. I am preaching about 'Heaven' in a few weeks and Randy Alcorn writes often about it.

9. A take on Halloween (in an American context).

10. The internal battles of even the best pastors.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Thanks to Adrian Warnock for this quote about the importance of prayer in Charles Spurgeon's ministry:
WHEN I came to New Park Street Chapel, it was but a mere handful of people to whom I first preached; yet I can never forget how earnestly they prayed. Sometimes, they seemed to plead as though they could really see the Angel of the covenant present with them, and as if they must have a blessing from Him. More than once, we were all so awe-struck with the solemnity of the meeting, that we sat silent for some moments while the Lord’s power appeared to overshadow us; and all I could do on such occasions was to pronounce the Benediction, and say, “Dear friends, we have had the Spirit of God here very manifestly to-night; let us go home, and take care not to lose His gracious influences.”
Then down came the blessing; the house was filled with hearers, and many souls were saved. I always give all the glory to God, but I do not forget that He gave me the privilege of ministering from the first to a praying people. We had prayer-meetings in New Park Street that moved our very souls. Every man seemed like a crusader besieging the New Jerusalem, each one appeared determined to storm the Celestial City by the might of intercession; and soon the blessing came upon us in such abundance that we had not room to receive it.
C. H. Spurgeon, C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Compiled from His Diary, Letters, and Records, by His Wife and His Private Secretary, 1834–1854, vol. 1 (Cincinatti; Chicago; St. Louis: Curts & Jennings, 1898), 361.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Don't tell anyone in our church but I am continually learning how to lead from a very low base. These ten questions were a help on that road.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Books on prayer

If reading books about prayer rather than praying was evidence of a vibrant prayer life then I may qualify. Sadly, like almost every Christian I know, I long for a much fuller and deeper life of prayer. However, reading books about prayer is certainly a step on the road and if I was writing a list I would include many that are here. There are three on it that I haven't read.

One I would add is a very thin and simple book by Bill Hybels called 'Too busy not to pray' which has probably impacted my praying more than any other.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday musing

I was moved to tears yesterday at the thought of all that God has done through a missionary friend who twenty five years ago encouraged me as a very new and fragile believer in Moscow.

This little post entitled 'Well done' made me think as did this testimony. Too few have grasped that the best is yet to come and how differently we would live if we truly believed that.

I recommended 'Making sense of God' to a 96 year old friend of my mum's and he sent me a delightful letter this morning.

These days we are generally falling asleep to MLJ sermons. Last nights was entitled 'Praying in the spirit'

David Attenborough was on the telly talking about Plant Earth 2. What an extraordinary man.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The gospel in five words

This week a pal texted me asking if I'd heard of a theologian called Christopher West. I hadn't. Today, rather randomly, I read a quote by him that I have been pondering all day. It was this:

The gospel can be summarized in five words 'God wants to marry us' 

The context for the quote can be found here.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Ten things for a Thursday

1. I've been on a two-day thing with Lead Academy which has left me with a few thoughts to ponder It ended with a cracking night at 'Sanctuary'. 

2. I went to school and spent some of my early years living in Scotland and so anyone planting a church there is encouraging. I've was struck by the line 'No one else is coming'

3. This Simon Sinek quote is worth a mull on. He's speaking at LC17

4. We were recommended 'Real Leadership' as the best book one of our coaches at Lead Academy has read in the last five years.

5. I've been watching quite a bit of Postman Pat and it strikes me that given his serial incompetence it's a wonder he's held onto his job for so long.

6. Sally's made 'A world without Downs syndrome'. Don't miss it. Cranmer has posted this.

7. A Vicar pal recommended 'The success equation' which is about luck (which I know we don't believe in but he tells me it's jolly good and interesting)

8.  We watched this and were asked which conductor we thought we were.

9. A pal has been loving this song.

10. If you are a Type A or just trying to get things done with some pace you will relate to this trailer.

11.  I know it said 'Ten' but I had one more. Mission Direct are launching Mission Direct UK with us tonight which we are excited to be involved with.

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