Friday, 21 August 2009

Making an Impact

At Frontiers Church Exeter we have the huge privilege of welcoming another four graduates to serve with us for a year on a voluntary basis. They are... (intro music) The Impact Team!

I'm excited to get to know this years team and get going on mission together. The year will kick off with...

Team building

We have two days booked with Spirit of Adventure on Dartmoor. I'm not great with heights but I'm sure we'll have some fun?!

Getting to know each other

We will eat together, share testimonies and have some fun with personality questionnaires etc.

Birthing a vision

We'll be discussing what we want from the year as a team and setting a goals to help us get there. We'll build on what has already been laid and look to take an area of the Church to the next level.

The team have their first day on home base on September 2nd. I'm very much looking forward to their arrival. The office is too quiet! :-)

Friday, 14 August 2009

Pastor Dad

Mark Driscoll notes a few thoughts on being a daddy drawn from the Bible and from his experience with 5 children!

Dad is responsible

Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

"The father is ultimately responsible for the cultivating of his children along with his wife."
"Practically this means that everything in the life of the child is ultimately the responsibility of the father."

Context of discipline

"Before any father disciplines his children, he is commanded to delight in them. Practically this means that most of a father's time is spent enjoying his children, encouraging his children, laughing with his children, being affectionate with his children so that there is a deep bond of love and joy between the children and their Dad."

Dad at home

"Every man in the church is supposed to conduct himself as a pastor in his home."

"More than bigger governments, bigger schools, more free lunches, more child therapists, more child medications, more day cares, more prisons, and more birth control, we need more godly men who raise their sons to be godly men who raise their sons to be godly men who raise their sons to be godly men."

Primarily Dad to provide

1Ti 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Just as in God's good creation...

Gen 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Big family or fruitful ministry?

"Wisdom leans to the future, and I pray that my sons and grandsons and great grandsons worship the same God, preach the same gospel and preach the same Bible so that the work of the gospel outlives me. I can assuredly get more gospel work done with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren than I can by myself."

On reflection...

My relationship with God is secure because of all Jesus has done for me and given me. He is good to me. I remain far from perfect in every area of my life and being a husband and dad is painfully no exception. As I walk with Jesus it is my expectation that he will change me increasingly by his grace and kindness to be the man that he made me to be. As I turn from values of the world to God and his values I expect to increasingly bless my family bringing glory to God and joy to myself as a Pastor Dad in my home.

Things I'm considering...
  • Prayer for myself as Dad.
  • Quality time and attention to my family. 'Man adventures' with Rufus and 'date night' with my wife.
  • Prayer for my son.
  • Family devotions.
  • How many babies?!
  • Thanking God for my family and my job.

Monday, 10 August 2009

What is the recession for?

A family member of mine has lost her job...
My friends are seeing people lose jobs...
Shops are empty on the high street...
Total unemployment according to The Times is at 2.5million...
Total unemployment is forecast to continue rising to a peak of three million next year.

As a young man providing for his wife and baby, unemployment is a threat which brings more fear to me than it would have done a few years ago. It also provokes more compassion within me for those who find themselves in this position.

What is the recession for?

Because God is in control, we can speak of purpose...

"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." Proverbs 16v33

John Piper preaches five points/purposes of God for this time. Check it out...
It challenges me to real faith and action as someone who has only known western prosperity.

1) He intends for this recession to expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.

2) He intends to wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.

3) He intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods, in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.

4) He intends to advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.

5) He intends for the church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.

Acts Adventure

I am still reading the Bible chronologically. I'm reading my ESV Study Bible which is good for quick clarification without stopping and losing momentum.

I've also been really enjoying The Bible Podcast this summer(!).

Listening to the Bible read on my Ipod is not something that I have tried before. I've found it really good. I am currently in Acts and I'm well into the narrative.

  • Hearing Acts read chapter by chapter has helped me enter the drama of the story without distractions.
  • Listening while walking through my City to work, (as opposed to in the comfort of my home) has brought extra edge as I hear of the authorities opposing Paul.
  • It has left me longing for transformation and Gospel impact in my City as I hear of signs, wonders and salvation wherever the name of Jesus is preached.
  • It has been a great use of my journey time to work. At 5-7 minutes per chapter I can listen to a few chapters a day...