Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Good advice

This quote on David Keen's blog is worth passing forward:

"I remembered reading the account of a spiritual seeker who interrupted a busy life to spend a few days in a monastery. 'I hope your stay is a blessed one' said the monk who showed the visitor to his cell. 'If you need anything, let us know and we'll teach you how to live without it.' "

(Philip Yancey Prayer)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday musing

'Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The mission of the Church in the pages of the New Testament is.......like the fallout from a vast explosion, a radioactive fallout which is not lethal but life-giving'. 
(Leslie Newbegin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society) quoted in Dirty Glory, Page 160

1. I haven't been so gripped by a book in a while and 'Dirty Glory' is stirring many of us to prayer. This book is one of our Lent reads together with 'Different' which is the title of our new sermon series. We've pulled together a few Lent resources for our folk to use as we approach Easter and are holding 24 hours of prayer into Easter Sunday (which is I suppose 24/1 rather than 24/7)

2. I spent some time with someone who used to travel with Reinhard Bonnke about whom I know little. I have been reflecting since and watched this astounding footage of him in Africa. He can certainly gather a crowd and this is a film of his story.

4. I've been asked about and dealt with issues of spiritual warfare a bit recently and happened on this bible study which was timely for me.

5. I have also been asking the question 'Does taking a Sabbath matter?' and springing from this my question is this: 'To what extent can we expect God's blessing over ministries if they overtly flaunt this command?' I'm hoping Eugene Peterson talking about being a simple pastor has a thought or two for over-work and misdirected driven-ness as I muse and study scripture on this topic.

6. It never ceases to move me when I witness the gospel move someone to tears when they hear it.

7. Tim Ferris has always interested me but I've never read any of his books or heard him speak. I might start here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday thoughts

1. We discussed Just One today and were generally musing on the potential impact of a stadium event in a post-Christian world vs Graham at the Hackney Empire in 1957. Perhaps the answer will depend on the prayer?

2. Eugene Peterson has a new book coming out which is always exciting.

3. I wrote a blog post to get something off my chest and haven't published it. Who knows if I will. Today, I spotted the case of a heterosexual couple who think its unfair they can't have a civil partnership because they are a man and women. I am even more confused having read this and the news is they lost.

4. Cranmer wrote a blog post about my Bishop which introduced me to the word 'quixotically'

5. You will be forever grateful to the people/person who led you to Jesus. The person who did that for me was doing his first university mission and slept on the floor of a students room for a week. Now he's speaking in Football stadiums.....

6. This section of BiOY hit me this morning. Jago is a Vicar pal in Clapham leading a wonderful church:

Jago Wynne, author of the book Working Without Wilting, talks about pastoring mid-week gatherings for people working in London. He says that those who came by themselves from their workplace as isolated Christians generally looked weary, struggling with the pressures of working life.
On the other hand, those who had found other Christian colleagues and who came to the services in groups of two or more were almost universally far more upbeat and radiant.
Jago writes, ‘If we are isolated Christians in our day-to-day environments, whether that is the workplace or school or university or home, it is good to pray for the Lord to provide us with another brother or sister in Christ. Even their mere presence can be a source of encouragement to keep going in serving the Lord in life and in mission.’
7. I've recommended 'Making sense of God' to someone on our Alpha Course. Here is Keller speaking about it to Google.

8. I've been listening quite a bit to Brandi Carlile recently.

9. My watching the storyline in Nashville about the complexities and pain of coming out as a country star coincided with my reading this post about complexities, confusion and pain of coming out as a Vicar to General Synod.  

10. I am still falling asleep to MLJ.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

On home

This is a beautiful, stirring, timely and challenging post written by a friend.

Monday, February 06, 2017

A day closer

We've been away for a bit of a break which has been wonderful.

1. We watched 'Black in Trump's America' and there was a financial statistic comparing the wealth of blacks and whites that literally left us without words.

2. A pal has put me on to a propheticy podcast called 'The Trumpet Daily' that has become his bedtime listening. Listening to the one about the Inauguration was I confess fascinating, a little crazy and compelling in equal measure. In days gone by (the time of 'The thief in the night') Christians were forever debating the signs of the times- now not so much.  This was a bit like an audio version of 'Left behind' but with more gravitas and quite why it is broadcast from Oxford for an American radio station is unknown. My go-to book for eschatology is 'And the lamb wins' 

3. I have started reading 'Dirty Glory'

4. Yesterday, I used 'The Rose' as an illustration and every time I listen to it it reminds me of how much grace has been extended to me and to us all.

5. A new motto

6, I try (and sometimes fail) to take one day a week for what John Stott called 'Q' in his diary.

7. I am enjoying the songs of Brandi Carlile.

8. Is 'regret' what's needed or something else? It's unlikely to help the dialogue at General synod this month. Psephizo asks 'Were shared conversations a con?'

9. This is our most important task

10. 'The greatest answer to prayer is prayer itself. God can perform miracles easily, but only rarely do we humble ourselves enough to truly ask for them. When the church becomes so hungry for more of God's power and presence that we finally turn to him in persevering prayer, seeking his face day and night, we can be sure that the Lord will not be slow to act'

Dirty Glory, Page 43

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