The story can tell us a lot about the company we keep and how that can make or break us, it can warn us about who we should listen to as we head into our future, too.
But as the year closes out and a new one gets ready to start, I’m thinking about various wise people I know and those I have read about and how they finish an old year really well, to start a New Year better – and what they do and say lines up well with what these wise guys did too.
The best way to pass on tradition is not to wear your father’s old hat but to reproduce – new children. How? Church planting.
The Christian church was born into an era of emperors. You ascended the imperial throne because of seniority, heredity or military glory. Then you could do whatever you liked until unseated by a coup. Before 1949 in Germany Fuhrer just meant Leader. Since the war it doesn’t get used. It’s tainted. Similarly such leaders tainted it for the church. Also for OT – God was king, kings were something to be wary of. For NT – Jesus is only Lord. (Acts 17:7, Rom 10:9, Col 1:18) – HE is the Leader. The head of the church. Supreme. We hear ‘Lead Like Jesus’ – but if that means he’s just an example of a good leadership tip source, that won’t do. He’s no leadership guru, he’s the Lord. BUT God is working for the flourishing of creation. (Eph 1:10) Richard Bauckham ‘God’s secret purpose at work in the whole creation took visible shape in Jesus Christ.’ God’s care for creation is exercised indirectly; he chooses a part for the good of all. He chooses […]
NOTES FROM INTERVIEW AT HTB LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2014 NG – How do you cope when your world is rocked- as it was when Matthew died? RW – I wish we could be as unified in evangelism as we are in grief. Because there was an outpouring from the Body of Christ. Why can’t we be as unified about the mission? KW – I will grieve for my son every day until I see him again. But we have to go through it together. This could tear us apart, though divorce is never an option for us. RW – So we decided to grieve differently, together. Because the stats are against you staying together when you’ve lost a child. So, whatever you’re feeling is okay. Enter into a deeper level of grief. Easiest death? Godly old people, ready to go Then death of spouse, death of child, you’re not meant to outlive your children Then suicide Some rejoiced and laughed that their son had killed himself. What do you do? And they are public figures, so they used social media to […]
A church he visited with in USA, a guy came up after and said ‘Ever since we talked about being missional we’ve stopped doing evangelism.’ Uh oh Being missional is not just acts of kindness We have to announce that Jesus is Lord of all, we’re not being missional. David Bosch, ‘Of course words are necessary, unexplained deeds in themselves do not constitute the mission of God’s people.’ Yes the church that was once so attaraction only focused; Come to us has turned around to ‘Go.’ Colossians 4:2-6 Paul advocates 2 pronged approach; 1) Some people are gifted as evangelists, and he’s one of them, with a translocal call. There are also local evangelists in a particular place. (PRAY for opportunity for them, and that they’re BOLD to seize them and CLARITY in how they present Christ). But he doesn’t say ‘And I will pray the same for you… He says 2) YOU make the most of every opportunity with outsiders, love people, and answer them. This says not everyone is an evangelist. […]
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 […]
The journey of faith is not me inviting God into my story. It’s me looking outward beyond myself. And saying ‘I want to play in your story.’
What My Daughter Learned From Five Years In Prison
Luke’s description of the work of the Spirit – it’s a prophetic empowerment for ministry, not lying down.
(This is from last Sunday night’s talk at the Ivy AGM – Awesome Gratitude Meeting) One of my favourite author/ speakers died last year – his name was Brennan Manning. If you have ever read ‘Ragamuffin Gospel’ you’ll never forget it. I have read lots of what he’s written and listened to many of his talks, but it was only this week I heard the amazing story about how he got the name “Brennan.” Because his real name was Richard Xavier Francis Manning – a good Irish catholic name, to be sure. While growing up, his best friend was Ray. The two of them did everything together: went to school together, bought a car together as teenagers, double-dated, and so forth. They even enlisted in the Army together, went to boot camp together and fought on the frontlines together in the Korean War. One night while sitting in a foxhole, Brennan was reminiscing about the old days in Brooklyn while Ray listened and ate a chocolate bar. Suddenly a live grenade came into the trench. Ray looked at Brennan, smiled, […]