Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lord, I am willing

'As last I said, "Lord, I am willing" and he came in. He did not force the decision on me: I had to decide. I was carried right into the presence of God and the verse he gave me was: 'Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus' (Hebrews 10:19). From that time on there was a line drawn between my old life and this new one. Like John the Baptist, I had to decrease and he had to increase'

Rees Howells

Monday, November 27, 2017

The first of many book lists

Apologies to readers that I have not returned to Saturday blog-sweep. This will be rectified.

Here is the Desiring God Books of 2017 list and as a result of it I have put a Martin Luther biography on my Christmas list.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

What's a church?

...'for the church is not what we organize but what God gives, not a people we want to be with but the people God gives us to be with- a community created by the descent of the Holy Spirit in which we submit ourselves to the Spirit's affirmation, reformation and motivation'

Reversed Thunder, Peterson, p.55

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Bits and bobs

1. This is good on the gift of tongues.

2. I am enjoying reading 'Walking with God'. It may simply be because Eldredge is a dry-fly fisherman.

3. I am currently reflecting on the book of life as I prepare to preach on Sardis on Sunday (Rev 3)

4. I have been falling asleep to this talk 'How the gospel changes our heart' on a few nights recently. It's excellent when you finally manage to get through it.

5. 'What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us' A W Tozer

6. Our personal prayer life is contested.

7. You know something is up when you are spending your evenings reading 'The Diary of David Brainerd ' in tiny print in Vol 1 of Edwards complete works. I should be watching a box set like everyone else.

8. Mrs C and I have been fascinated by Trump: An American Dream.

9. I have not been able to get past the Calvin quote on page 17-18 of 'The New Catechism'. As Peterson says 'Reading Calvin is prayer'

10. A Vicar pal sent me this interview in which Bill Johnson talks about the glory cloud (18 mins in) and asked what I think. When the glory comes scripture describes people as 'face down' in awe, not filming it on a mobile. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Shepherd's life

'My job is simple: get around the fields and feed and shepherd the different flocks of ewes- dealing with any issues that arise. 

First rule of shepherding; it's not about you. It's about the sheep and the land.

Second rule: sometimes you can't win.

Third rule: shut up, and go and do the work.'

p 201

If I were to recommend a book to someone who wanted to be a pastor it might be this one and, interestingly, he's not a Christian. It's basically the job description. It's also a deeply honest and moving read.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


I watched this interview and am left in doubt of my need to go through a very steep and urgent learning curve on this issue. The classroom and the workplace of my children will be a very different one from that which I experienced.

This seems like a primer which I have just started to read.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

For the pod: Hard pressed

For those of you who feel 'hard pressed on every side'- this Ransomed Heart podcast is worth a listen. 

You can also listen to Part 2 and Part 3 which follow-on with this theme.

Monday, November 13, 2017

With- In- Upon

'The Holy Spirit was with us prior to our conversion. He came alongside us to convince us to surrender our lives to the Lord. Once we opened our heart, He then came in us, giving us power to say yes to God's will and to resist all that is not compatible with His way. Then in response to our soul's longing for intimacy with God, the Holy spirit came upon us, empowering us to deny ourselves and to reach out to others that they may also learn from Him'

Free to shine, Opening the gift of Tongues, p 43

'I am convinced that the need of the church is to realize again the activity of the Holy Spirit. You see, we organize meetings, organize campaigns, but that is because very largely we have forgotten the element that I am trying to emphasize to you. When the Spirit comes his evidence is unmistakable and the results amazing and astounding'

Joy unspeakable, p 120

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sabbatical reading

The subject of my reading and prayer over the last couple of months has been the baptism of the Holy Spirit and Revival. As an aside, I was reading an old journal where I had asked a friend what I should read on my ordination retreat. He said 'Romans and the best book on the Holy Spirit you can find'

Oh and I have been fasting all media for eight weeks and it's been a joy and I do recommend it.

My reading was as follows and as to its fruit - well only time will tell:

Taking my God for a Walk: A wonderful tale of a man walking the Camino.

When breath becomes air: A moving and wonderfully written book about death and dying. It made me sob uncontrollably.

Conclave: A total page-turner on how you pick the Pope.

The Rosie Project: Light, funny and profound.

Joy Unspeakable: It is hard to sum up what this book has done in me and one of the reasons I can't is it's still in motion. Get this book, read this book and may it set you aflame.

Face to Face with God:  I read this with Lloyd Jones and was struck how similar it was in parts.

Great Revivals: A taster book of where God has moved his hand through history.

Defining Moments: The stories of revivalists and what we can learn from them.

Living Forward: One quote in this prompted me to start writing a book.

Draw the Circle: A forty day journey of prayer which is worth the walk. Packed with interesting facts and perspectives.

The Shepherds Life: A wonderful book about being a shepherd by a shepherd. An immersion into beautiful writing and life in the Lakes.

Grace Outpouring: The account of what happens when you pray. This book tells the incredible story of the place I stayed in Wales. I can't recommend it highly enough. You should visit and then see what happens next.....

The Way of Blessing: I read this while I was in Wales and it follows right on with the story of what God is doing through Flald y Brenin.

The Revival We Need: Recommended by Roy Godwin and it cut me to the core. The impact of this book on my heart and soul is still under way. I will keep you posted.

Intercessor: I read this nearly thirty years ago and have revisited it after a visit to The Bible College of Wales. If Rees Howells has never crossed your path it's time he did. Astounding.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

True Revival

Would we think of calling a doctor before we were sick? Do we urge people who are well and strong to hasten to the physician? Does the man who is swimming well beseech those on the shore to come and save him? Certainly, not!  But let sickness come, and at once we feel our need and a doctor is called. We know that we require a remedy. When we feel ourselves sinking below the surface, and realise that we are drowning, we will then soon call for help, and oh, the agony through which we pass as we find ourselves going down and know that unless someone saves us, we are lost and must perish!

So it is with a perishing soul. When a man is convicted of his lost condition he will cry out in anguish of heart: "What must I do to be saved?' He will need no urging, no coaxing; it is a matter of life and death to him, and he will do anything to be saved.'

.....'A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the church. Backslidden professors cannot wake up and begin right away in the service of God without deep searchings of heart. The fountains of sin need to be broken up. In a true revival, Christians are always brought under such conviction; they see their sins in such light that often they find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God. It does not always go to that extent, but there are always, in a genuine revival, deep convictions of sin, and often cases of abandoning all hope'

Charles Finney

Quotes from 'The Revival we Need', p 45, 52 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

For the pod: The Father Wound

I have revisited some of John Eldredge's books and he speaks often of something he calls ...'the father wound'. This same phrase was then the pivotal subject of this talk and it impacted me profoundly. It has moved a number of men I have shared it with- including some who are not yet Christians so I pass it forward.

We are all so very broken (including Driscoll himself as most know) and I am so thankful for the Cross.....

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