Tonight at Ivy Didsbury Andy Smith blew us away with an incredible talk about the Magi, those outsiders from the East who found themselves in Bethlehem shortly after Christ was born, and on bended knee gave the best of who they were and had to him. There was so much great stuff there I encourage you to subscribe to the Ivy podcast and listen to the talk in full when it’s up later in the week. But something Andy said almost in passing at the end really grabbed me. It was an epiphany at Epiphany! Here it is, as I recall what he said: “The wise men got there, and saw… a baby, an infant, a little child. But God says in Zechariah 4:10 despise not the day of small beginnings,’ and this child grew into the Saviour of the world.” As I sat there I thought about those VIPs. They came looking for the King of the Jews, right? What would that look like? They’d know what Kings look like. And they are somehow looking for God there, the […]
I spoke today to the ‘Ivy Professionals’ Group – a bunch of people who meet to discuss how to get the best out of working for God, whatever they do. They asked me to speak on ‘Work/Life Balance’. Numbers were down, probably effected by the terrible news of terrorist attacks in Paris which leaves us all with a sense of numbness and the need to just reflect, pray and perhaps be with people we love. The people who were there asked me to share my notes on here and I hope they help you too. I have benefitted from a lot of training over the years from the fantastic Franklin Covey organisation and much of what I do has been shaped by their materials. I recommend them 100%. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has probably been my number one ‘Go back and read again’ leadership book over the last fifteen years. Once of the central concepts is of course the story of the teacher who fills up a glass storm jar, first with 7 Big Rocks, then with […]
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 […]
Let’s spend some time ‘contemplating thinking about thinking’, to quote Robbie Williams.
We should STAND UP for what we believe.
We should STAND ALONGSIDE those who are being persecuted.
We should never BOW DOWN to pressure to conform to what people think, rather than what God says.
Everything this guy says is tweetable 🙂 I started tweeting some but I couldn’t do that and take good notes so I stopped tweeting… I have seen way too many people not reach their potential, but it’s unthinkable that Christians do that. Christians have been taught that the future was set, by the same people who taught that the world was flat. The words we use most end up having the least meaning for us. Beautifying the bride? If you put a beautiful white dress on a bride with a leg cut off and bleeding, she’s not looking too good. He is from El Salvador – which means ‘The Saviour’. Great address! But he grew up without much religious connection. God was an unreal object of frustration for his mother. He was interested in mythology, to try to work out what it was to be human, which led to a psychiatrist from 12. The psychiatrist asked him, ‘What do you see?’ That clued him into how people see differently. He began to want to escape from a reality he didn’t […]
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 […]
Glyn is a great friend doing an amazing work at !Audacious Church in our city and it was an honour to host him at Ivy Church (Kingsway) this morning. Here are my notes on a fabulous talk. Mark 11:15ff ‘My house will be called a house of prayer – but you have made it a den of thieves.’ This is that moment – when Jesus gets mad. When my wife gets mad I get nervous When my mum gets mad I get nervous But here’s where Jesus got mad – because he’s come to the house of God, expecting one thing – gets another. Like when you turn up to a holiday hotel, expecting something fantastic – and get a B & B. When the expectation is high, but it’s terrible when you get it. You buy the car and it breaks down in the first week. May our church, our house, never be a disappointment to Jesus! Church is a house, not a ceremony Royalty expects a ceremony. But Jesus calls this a house – it’s a place you […]
As I think about the adventure we’re on and the lives changing every week, seeing these people and knowing so many of the stories represented I still can’t watch this without either; – Gasping – Laughing – Skrieking (Fellow Mancs will understand this word, others can click here to save my embarrassment) – Clapping Because I’m part of the biggest and best thing happening on Planet Earth today, and I get to do that here, with friends who love me. Our new website is soooo good. I’m spending time now flicking round the beautiful wonder of it. Thanks to Dan, Steve, Wozza and Andy, a fantastic design and web team who worked so well to deliver excellence. And Sparky’s video? I love it. So good I want to get it as an advert in Cineworld where we meet too so people going to the cinema get to hear about God’s love for them. So good, I’m going to Ivy Didsbury tonight!
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.’