Saturday, January 27, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

One Generation from Extinction

1. This post 'Four Reasons to think about Hell' is a timely reminder of why the vitality of the local church and its mission is so crucial. Thanks be again for an Archbish who is putting a rocket under the C of E to return to it's mission (as far as he is empowered or able to). Here's a question. Why, when we promote someone in the C of E, do we have to nearly always take them out of their day to day work in the local church thereby distancing them where it all happens?

2. My pal who has recently taken over a struggling and nearly closed church has 59 folk on his first Alpha Course.That's encouraged me.

3. As we were brainstorming reaching 18-30's it struck me that no one had said 'Preach the gospel of Jesus Christ'. I have really no other significant ideas other than that (apart from pray). As I have pondered since, it has struck me that we assume the gospel is being preached when perhaps too often it isn't.

4. I read this quote today:

'Strategy is about commitment. If what you are doing isn't irrevocable, then you don't have a strategy- because anyone can do it......I have always wanted to treat life like I was an invading army and there was no turning back' Troy Tyler

The Shaping of Things to Come, p 201

5. From 'One Generation from Extinction':

'For every 100 children in C of E churches in 1930 today there are nine.' p. 63

6. There is a helpful chapter in 'Our Secular Age' on Millennials. The recommendation is to 'Make space of Thomas':

Likewise churches interested in reaching millennials need to become skilled in that sort of patience that graciously makes space for the questioner,.......Questions and dialogue must be welcome.'. p 51

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday wanderings

1. I have finished 'Strong and Weak' and it's a book that I think I now need to re-read. Profound and helpful.

2. I meet on a Wednesday with some other Pastors. We are a great and eclectic bunch and today's discussion was, among other things, the Jordan Peterson interview.

3. Tonight, we are gathering to remind ourselves of the blessing of the ministry of the Holy Spirit with the help of the wonderful Rev Barry Kissell. A night of teaching and prayer.

4. I am reflecting on a gathering yesterday of the churches in our Diocese with more than 10 people aged 18-30. I think we were about 25 in number. It was a good crew and an interesting time. However, that means that there are another 300 churches with less or none ( there may I pray be a few more who couldn’t come), nonetheless it is salutatory and reflects the urgent challenge of the C of E in reaching this generation. This article in the Church Times tells me the C of E is in the 'last chance saloon'. Not particularly glass half-full but on the showing yesterday perhaps not too far wrong.

‘Revd Dr John Walker wrote that the C of E was in the “Last Chance Saloon”. Six years later, the saloon doors are swinging shut for the last time.’

5. I like having an Archbishop who gets furious for the C of E being 'inward looking'. Just what the last chance saloon needs.

6. We sang a line 'My wealth is in the cross' from a song last Sunday. Someone asked me what that means and I am going to try and answer that with my preach this Sunday. It's a good question.

7. Piper has caused the twittersphere to twitter about women seminary professors.

8. This little section has caused me to reflect and it's a profound observation:

Commenting on the martyrdom of the Charleston Nine and the subsequent faithfulness of the surviving congregation, the Episcopal priest and writer Fleming Rutledge said "They were not ready"- how could anyone be ready for such gratuitous violence?' - "but they were prepared".

Strong and Weak, p155

9. If I was recommending a one-stop book on leadership to a pastor it would be 'Relational Leadership'. Superb.

10,. Reckless love.  He has indeed been so so good to me. Grace upon grace.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A New Place

This is a quote I have been pondering:

"Evangelisation is a process of bringing the gospel to people where they are, not where you would like them to be. When the gospel reaches people where they are, their response to the gospel is a church in a new place'

Vincent Donovan (author of 'Christianity Rediscovered'

Monday, January 15, 2018

An exhortation

I read in 'The Imperfect Disciple' that Ray Ortlund once exhorted his congregation to "stare at the glory of God until you see it"


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday wanderings

1. I saw a friend and reader of this blog who has been fighting with her husband over who gets to read their one copy of 'The Imperfect Disciple'. They are walking with grace and courage through cancer together so its very encouraging they are being strengthened by it. She told me to 'keep on blogging and recommending' so hence today's post. I also recommended 'Gospel wakefulness' to her.

2. As a direct result of this article and then cutting back on news/internet/social media use I read so much more.

3. We are starting the year with a weekly prayer night on Wednesday evenings. These articles on prayer were a spur for me. Tonight we are going to be praying a Psalm and taking an hour to do so.

4. I have ordered a fresh pile of books that appealed from all the 'Book lists' of 2017. The one I've just started is called 'The Strong and the Weak'. A pal put me onto reading and rereading John Eldredge last year so I have ordered his new book too. I am aware I have yet to do my list.

5. I am planning to revisit 'Ordering your private world' as my life has more demands and my heart always needs more attention, protection and care.

6. This piece on 'Are Clergy worth it?' was interesting. As I don't receive a C of E funded stipend and am resourced directly by the saints of Barnes you'll have to ask them....

7. A pastor pal has been impacted by 'A Disruptive Generosity' by Mac Pier. He tells me it's one to give or recommend to those 'in the market place' in your church.

8. A helpful piece on 'How to help your children read the Bible'

9. This quote is true for me: 'As I get older, I see more of my own sin and thus become more humble. As I get older, I see more of my own flaws and thus become more patient. As I get older, I see more of my own weakness and slowness and inadequacy and thus become more gentle'

The Imperfect Pastor

10. Another quote gleaned from the deep well of Jared Wilson that I have been mulling on. Indeed, my question from it is what is it I revere and will it ruin or restore me?:

'What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or restoration' G K Beale

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Redeemed prayerlessness

'You are not your cruddy prayer life. Prayer is vital and necessary. When you pray, you strip your soul down to your proper proportion, helpless and needy and desperate. Prayer of all kinds is basically confessed need of God. It is an expression of our un-God-ness and God's total God-ness. But in the end, you are not your prayers. Jesus is mediating for you and the Spirit is interceding for you, making up for all your prayerlessness'


Tuesday, January 02, 2018

New Year Musing

1. I am full of thankfulness and new-parental sleeplessness.

2. The words that have stuck with me since Christmas are 'grace upon grace' (John 1)

3. Tim Keller spoke at church on Sunday on 'How to change deeply' . I think he enjoyed it but it is hard to tell when you are on you tube :)

4. In the last couple of weeks I have read two books by Jared Wilson. They have blessed me and reminded me of grace and my own brokenness.

5. I enjoyed this book list. I last on the list is worth searching for.

6. My blogging pal Darryl is suggesting a book a month to read this year on preaching that I am going to attempt to join in with. I could be a much better preacher than I am and reading a book about it might help a bit.

7. This post on brokenness and depression has stayed with me. He should be friends with Jared Wilson. The Tozer quote is one to ponder.

8. I spent some time reading some of Edwards resolutions.  He was not in favour of smiling on a Sunday....

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