Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday musing

If I was preparing a sermon on the resurrection for Easter day I would certainly recommend reading the chapter in Andrew Wilson's 'If God then what?'

There has been a big debate across the pond about religious discrimination in Indiana. The Governor seemed determined not to want to answer the gay bed and breakfast guest question.

I am happy to see that Sunday worship is now being viewed as something that can be missional.

I cooked Lamb with apricots from Camellioa Panjabi's book. It's absolutely delicious but I added some creme fraiche and through in some left over gravy from this great Normandy Lamb recipe I did the day before.

I had a moment considering 'costliness' in Matt 8 listening to talk 5 in the series 'Follow' yesterday.

A quote from Sundays sermons that has stuck with me and I will ponder during Holy Week is this one:

'Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us we have to see it as something done by us'

John Stott

Lots of academics seem to be in a stew about changes to theological education. I think I need to dig around more to better understand what their beef is.

Some tips on taking better photos from Steve McCurry, whose exhibition we visited on honeymoon in Sienna. You can see his work in Monza if you happen to be in Italy.

We are starting a new teaching series on the Holy Spirit after Easter it being Pentecost n'all soon. J D Greear has come on my radar in the last few months and this belting talk on the Holy Spirit is worth checking out. The Holy Spirit is a person with power to bestow to his children who ask for it......

I am thinking about starting on Instagram. Cutting edge me :)  Just as I am joining all the trendy folk will be moving to some much  more hip platform. Any suggestions of alternatives?

John Legend singing Amazing Grace
h/t Ann Voskamp

Friday, March 27, 2015

For the pod: People pleasers

I've been working through Rick Warren's 'Best Messages' and recently listened to 'Escaping the people pleaser trap' which I found very helpful.

So many live in fear of disappointing others or feel the pressure of keeping up with the crowd and conforming to their opinions. We worry about the performance of our kids, the lives of other parents at the school gate, the opinions of colleagues and friends, the views of our boss and a whole host of other people who we let dictate how we react and feel and think.

I hope this message is a help if you find yourself falling into the people pleasing trap.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday bits and bobs

Matt Bird the founder of 'The Cinnamon Network' has written an interesting book called 'Relatianology: Secrets to grow your business through the power of relationships'

John Lennox, an apologist and Math Professor at Oxford, taught be the book of Daniel at Vicar Factory and he's just written it up into a book called 'Against the flow:The inspiration of Daniel in an age of Relativism'. His Bible teaching on this material moved me to tears when I heard it.

Keep a watch on your life and illustrations

Three bad reasons to leave your church

This is an interesting piece about the 'Four pervading themes in the writing of Dallas Willard'

I am very slowly working my way through Capital and this is an interesting piece about the solutions to inequality. Worth a read, as it seems the middle classes rather than the poor are absorbing all the political energy on the build-up to the election.

I had to make a big leadership call this week and this insight was interesting on changing your mind. I also found 10 Dumbest things a Pastor says on a Building Project a help to me.

I always love a new or interesting commentary on Romans like this one.

Enjoyed the seven distinguishing habits of highly effective pastors.

Have you ever considered a stand-up desk?

3 Team Killing church cultures

You may not be working in the White House but this is ....How the most powerful people get things done

The 20 most popular TED talks if you happen to have hours to watch them all. A 20 minute TED when you are in need of some inspiration can be a good thing I've found.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Scandinavian church planters

It's rather fun to have a crowd of Norwegian and Swedish church planters visiting HT Barnes this afternoon. I have been asked to encourage them and to share our story. As I have been thinking this through I have looked back on the books, websites, sermons and resources that have been part of the story for me personally and for our church.


DMLJ Iain Murray (2 Volumes)

A Resilient Life MacDonald

Finishing strong Farrar

The Missionary Movement in Christian History Walls

The Cross cultural process in Chrsitian History

Edward George Marsden

The Shaping of thing to come Hirsh

More Ponsonby

Who is my enemy Rich Nathan

Wesley Pollock

Leading with a limp Allender

Leading from the inside out Rima

A million miles in a thousand years Miller

Bonhoeffer Metaxas

Leading on empty Cordiero

Confession of a reformission rev Driscoll

Vintage Jesus by Driscoll

Why Revival Tarries Ravenhill

Sensing Jesus Eswine

It Groeschl

The Reason for God Keller

Working the angles Peterson

Total Church Chester

Churchill Johnson

The Big Story Buzzard

Rethinking the church White

Courageous Leadership Hybels

Fresh wind fresh fire Cymbala

The way in is the way on Wimber and Hayford

Reformed doctrine of predestination Boettner

C T Studd Norman Grubb

Too busy not to pray Hybels

Ordering your private world MacDonald

Church in the making Arment

The Heart of a Servant leader Miller

In a pit with a lion on a snowy day Batterson

Fail J R Briggs

Talks and Films

Furtick's advice is not to plant a church unless God has called you to. I concur

Platt's advice is to pray. Good idea and do lots of it.

Driscoll is a very flawed man but this sermon did something deep in me. Not for the faint-hearted so you've been warned but it's part of my story so I share it.

Simon is a pal and he blessed me and made me laugh as I planted our church and spoke at our first weekend away.


Nehemiah is a book I have often turned to on our planting adventure.

I read 'The purpose driven life' and Romans while fly-fishing in Chile for 2 months and I've been set on a different course ever since. 

A bit of advice. Read the bible and pray said so brilliantly by Hybels

Billy Graham's talk on the Cross moved us all deeply when I showed it in church and blow me down someone gave their life to Christ. Wonderful stuff.

Watching this moved me and compelled me pray that we might see a few folk believe and be baptised. We haven't quite got to 2158 yet but give us time :)

These Keller sermons on Galatians were a turning point in my encounter with grace. I listened to them driving up and down the A3 to work over a months and have never been the same since.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Leaky roofs and other matters

The budget gave a tax break to church roofs.

Thanks to David Keen for putting me on to the Evidence to Action website of church growth resources. Well worth breaking a fast for!

These lyrics were quotes in the BioY notes:

‘The night is deafening,
When the silence is listening,
And I’m down on my knees,
And I know that something is missing

Sooner than later, I’ll need a saviour,
I’ll need a saviour...
I just wanna run to you,
And break off the chains, and throw them away,
I just wanna be so much,
And shake off the dust that turned me to rust.
Sooner than later, I’ll need a saviour,
I’ll need a saviour...’

J D Greer in chapter three of 'Gospel' describes asking his wife to tell him about his sins. It is a very challenging read if you happen to be a pastor (as I am) and it came on the back of my reading this post about envy and rivalry in ministry.