Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wednesday wandering

1. A pal Chris has started a podcast called Making disciples. In one of them he spends 20 minutes with John Mark Comer and that 20 minutes has made me think more about critically about my own and our churches discipleship than anything I have listened to in ages.

2. Chris ends his first podcast with a challenging question:

'Do you believe the truth enough to live it?

3. I have bought and started reading Comer's book and his parents book on parenting called 'Raising Passionate Jesus Follower

4.  We have a dear man called Michael Emmett coming to speak at the launch of our new evening service (6pm at Holy Trinity Barnes on Oct 6th). We were playing near our house today feeding the ducks and two young lads were smoking a joint watching us. Mrs C marched up to them and invited them and they immediately googled Michael and said 'We'll be there'

5. I have been pondering a line in R T Kendall's book about anointing.

'The transfer of anointing to others lightens the load of the one with whom the buck stops' p.37

6. I preached about giving on Sunday and giving outward. Earlier in the year, our PCC decided to give 15% of our income out to our partners rather than having a separate gift day. Paul at one point said 'imitate me' and I told church that logically we should therefore all expect to raise our giving by 15% to stand still. and that's what Mrs C and I have done. If we're not doing it why should anyone else in our church.

7. I preached on 1 Cor 9 and Paul's passion for the lost hit my soul anew. Alpha started yesterday and no one I invited came which left me feeling slightly gloomy. I was sharing my pessimism with a Vicar pal today and he told me how they set 'invitation goals' for his church. I told him I don't set evangelism goals for our church on Alpha. Should I?  I don't want to have to twist peoples arm to tell other people about Jesus. Surely, that's the HS's job?  Just musing.

8. My Brexit thought for the day is that if Brexit was about reclaiming to Sovereignty of parliament and the power of British Courts both seem to be in pretty good fettle given we haven't left yet. I enjoy Ian Dales weekly podcast 'For the many' 

9. Did I mention Mrs C is loving 'The lineage of grace'

10. What are people saying to you when they 'unfriend you' on Facebook?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tall poppy's

Image result for tall poppies

Today is the last day of John Humphrys presenting Today. I listened to his interview with David Cameron and one phrase stuck with me (it's not up yet but you should listen).

Cameron was asked by Humphreys what his legacy was (Blair has 'Blairism' and Thatcher had her 'ism' and you....?). He paused, and said that he never wanted his leadership to be about him. He then went on the talk of Gove's education reforms and the welfare reforms of Duncan-Smith. Aside from any view on these specific policies, he then said this:

'I wanted to cultivate tall poppy's'

I like that little phrase. I am now pondering it and wondering how many leaders share that philosophy? Do I?

Isn't the very nature of discipleship the sacrificial cultivation of 'tall poppy's' or is the danger of ministry that it's can drift to being more about us than about others.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


I know the blog has been quiet.

Time to crank up my writing and sharing once again.

If you've never heard a sermon on 1 Cor 7 then I preached on it the other day and it seemed to hit a cord. I don't think there are enough sermons with the word 'masturbation' in them. It was relevant to the text ( v 9)....

My holiday reading was (and still is) 'How to read the Bible Supernaturally' 

I am enjoying Driscoll's series on Proverbs and Mrs C and I are reading through this wisdom book together.  The talk on marriage is a good one.

I am reading and being blessed by R T Kendall's '40 Days with the Holy Spirit.' which someone left on our church book shelf. It's refreshing my soul.

My sister recommended this to me and it was most enlightening on 'the backstop' and other matters Irish that English people, being English as I am, think are rather incidental.

We are having our first church wedding on a Sunday. I had to ring up head office and check that it's OK and it is. Our very own 'Wedding at Cana'.

Our son has started school. He said to me 'Daddy, it not fair. I have to go to school and you get to stay home all day and play'. Not a bad line to up Vocations in the C of E......

We watched the story of Adorijam Hudson on Amazon Prime.

I recommended a book called 'The Gospel-Driven Church' to our pastors prayer whatsapp group and a number of us read it on our holidays.  Fascinating unplanned reflection on it. It's got some real nuggets to chew on and is basically a critique of pragmatic church which many contemporary churches are embarked upon to gather a crowd.

I shared the gospel today with a man and in explaining it to him I had to unpack a misleading talk he had listened to in a prosperity preaching church. I know of the church and someone once told me the congregation bought the pastor a Porsche for his 50th birthday. I always assumed that that cannot possibly be true? I am over a decade into ministry and the C of E have yet to send me the company car form. It must have got lost in the post.

Every day is grace.

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