Good Questions (2) Who is Good?

Your Bible might headline the meeting in Mark 10  as the rich young man, he’s also referred to as ‘The Rich Young Ruler’. He is everything our culture aspires to be wrapped up in skin and riding a posh donkey with go-faster stripes, but really he’s a self-satisfied, self-centered seeker. The gospels say he’s rich, but he probably didn’t think of himself as Rich. We never do. Materialism hides well in a heart and keeps you from seeing yourself as rich, however much you have. If someone from my world were to go to the poor parts of the same world – you discover you’re a world apart. In Haiti where I have been a number of times and will visit again next year, if you’re ‘Blanc’ – they see you as a millionaire. Why do we never see ourselves as rich? Because of who we compare ourselves with and come into contact with. We compare up not down, and feel better about ourselves as a result. I’m not as rich as Beyonce, Rooney, lottery winners, or MPs. They should do something! […]


Good Questions (1) What is Good?

Despite what many people in our culture may think, anyone who reads the Bible will soon discover that Christianity is NOT a system for Good people trying to live good lives. When people say, ‘I don’t believe in God or Jesus – but I’m just as much a good Christian as you..’ You can be sure that probably through no fault of their own they either missed the point or were given a description of Christianity that was about religion and rules and quite rightly rejected it. But the REAL gospel – the good news, starts with the bad news that you’re not good. You’re more sinful than you ever dared believe; and more loved than you ever dared hope. Because of the cross of Christ, if we exchange our own messed up record, we get his spotless one. That’s how we end up being ‘counted or reckoned as good.’ Justified, the Bible says. Because of Jesus taking the punishment for my sins, I’m justified – it’s ‘justasifI’d’ never sinned. If that’s all news to you, please get hold of […]


The Joy Paradox – Krish Kandiah at @myivychurch @krishk my notes on a great talk

Everyone on the planet is on a search for joy, but paradoxically most of those searching for it end up with broken lives and disappointment. Bertrand Russell had lots of money, sex and power, yet said ‘The centre of me is always and eternally a terrible pain – a curious wild pain – a searching for something beyond what the world contains.’ Where do you find what he (and everyone else) was looking for? Well CS Lewis said, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” Do you find yourself longing for home? Lonely in a crowd? You were made for more! You were made for joy! Joy that’s not dependent on circumstances.  Krish once lived in Albania. He saw an eagle – the national bird – but it was in a cage, slowly disintegrating itself because of being bound in its circumstances. The apostle Paul was not confined by his circumstances. We can learn from him. Paul was in prison when he wrote […]


Follow Your Star! Bob Ekblad speaking at @wtctheology residential

Bob Ekbald. At @wtctheology Residential Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,     are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler     who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that […]


GROWING – How different people change us into different people. Brad Jersak at Ivy Church Didsbury @bradjersak #Bgbg2

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What if you don’t make particular people your target group for your church- but make the Trinity your target group, then God will come, and bring His friends.


TIME TO KICK THE ROOF IN!

In Luke 5 Jesus is in a house teaching, the crowd checking him out was so large inside and out that some friends bringing a paralysed man couldn’t get into the house. No disabled access! No way in, nobody moving to make a way through. It says there was NO WAY TO DO IT. So what did they do? ‘Sorry pal, we’ll have to take you home again?’ No! There was no way so they made a way. They got creative. Dangerous even. They climbed up on the roof and kicked the roof in so they could lower their friend down on a bed in front of Jesus! This appeals to me from ex police days, where one of my favourite jobs was to be ‘Donger man’ on raids. The Donger was what we called that battering ram which provided a useful key for the majority of locked doors with 14 stone behind it. I’m terrible at DIY, but if you want something smashing, I’m your guy. What those guys did to the roof and how Mark’s account says when Jesus saw […]


I nominate YOU for this challenge – what are you going to do?

It started with one person, having water poured all over them. It was because of a disease, 3 letters sum up the disease. That person challenges other people, calls them by name. If and when that person responds, they get water poured all over them too, then they challenge their friends and family and people and people they work with maybe. And it’s like, ‘What are you going to do about this?’


The Beautiful Gospel – Brad Jersak at Ivy – #Bgbg2 for @wtctheology

Brad hails from Canada and teaches Gospel Studies on the faculty of  Westminster Theological Centre (which I am delighted to be a trustee of and teach on). My notes from his talk last week. He talks fast so I got as much as I could!!  The beautiful gospel is of a God of unfailing love. It’s not a sales pitch I have to convince people of. A presentation that prisoners and the poor say ‘YES!’ to because it’s good news to them. The gospel in itself does not need upgrading. It’s a faith once delivered to the apostles from the Lord Jesus. But we need to be careful how we tweak our presentation of it, for every generation – so they hear it.  We can have approaches, but it’s not steps. He then showed us the gospel in chairs: with two chairs (one black and one white chair). How I heard the gospel first off: the version I came to Christ through – was the legal gospel. Composed by Calvin. Courtroom image. Sin is lawbreaking that must be punished. God can […]


Life’s 3 Options #bgbg2

One of the things I have often been challenged about by God, and it draws close to me every day in terms of what I worry about or get concerned about, is the issue of WHO IS MY PROVIDER going to be? Who do I see as responsible for providing for what I need? Your answer to that will have you living in one of three ways. You’ll be a BEGGAR, A DIGGER, OR A GIVER. Jesus told a parable, a story with meaning, in Luke 16:1-13. It’s a bit of a weird one about a man who suddenly finds himself in financial difficulty. The major point, which it’s always safest to go with in parables, is that he thought he’d always have enough, but now the future’s closing him down fast. And the internal dialogue the guy has with himself there leads me to these three ways to live. Have a read yourself. He says ‘I’m too proud to beg, and I’m not strong enough to dig,’ so he ends up getting very creative in the area of generosity […]