Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Enjoying the sunshine


I love the sun

Exeter is beautiful in the sunshine. I personally love it when it is hot. The last couple of days have been awesome. I enjoyed snoozing on my deck chair in the yard, taking the boy to the park and Chloe and I took him to the beach yesterday.

It leads me to Him

Some people seem to be 'sun worshippers'. If the sun is out, we drop everything else to get in its presence. We love to worship created things. I am determined to enjoy the sun as a way to draw close to the one who made the sun!

The sun is amazing

On the Dvd Indescribable, Louie Giglio gives us a quick description of this incredible star which we call the sun. The sun is 93million miles away. It burns at 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. When I turn my oven to 180 degrees (350 degrees Fahrenheit) it burns if I touch it! It is 100x the diameter of earth. It sends out light at 186,000 miles per second. It takes 8minutes for light to reach us.



Raw power

It is like billions of nuclear bombs going off!Apparently it would take the GDP of America ($14.6 trillion) for seven million years to power the sun for one second. Can you get your mind around that?!
This raging ball of fire was spoken into being by our maker God. I'm not sure I've read such an understatement.3 And God said, c “Let there be light,” and there was light.

From Him

Right now, its being sustained and maintained by the power and might of Jesus Christ. We read in Colossians 1v16 that it is Him who holds all things together. All the gases, all the chemical dynamics created and continuing in existence because of Jesus. He is ferociously powerful beyond my imagination. Don't mess.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Sowing the Spirit

A couple of quotes which Matt Hatch provided at LT1. I found helpful, real and challenging.

John Stott[1]

“To ‘sow to the flesh’ is to pander to it, to cosset, cuddle and stroke it, instead of crucifying it…Every time we allow our mind to harbour a grudge; nurse a grievance, entertain an impure fantasy, or wallow in self pity, we are sowing to the flesh. Every time we linger in bad company whose insidious influence we know we cannot resist, every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying, every time we read pornographic material, every time we take a risk which strains our self control, we are sowing, sowing, sowing to the flesh. Some Christians sow to the flesh every day and wonder why they do not reap holiness”

Sowing to the spirit

= saying yes to whatever strengthens my Spirit inspired desires

=reinforcing faith

Amy Carmichael[2]

‘Sometimes when we read the words of those who have been more than conquerors, we feel almost despondent. I feel that I shall never be like that. But they won through step by step by little bits of wills, little denials of self, little inward victories by faithfulness in very little things. They became what they are. No one sees these little hidden steps. They only see the accomplishment, but even so, those small steps were taken. There is no sudden triumph no spiritual maturity. That is the work of the moment.’



[1] J Stott ‘The Message of Galations’ Inter-varsity press, 1968, p.170

[2] Amy Carmichael quoted in: Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 130.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

How does an Eskimo kill a wolf?

To kill a wolf an Eskimo has a few options. One of the ways they may choose to do it is through a knife trap.

The temptation

A blade would be taken and wrapped in fat or meat of another animal. This would then be frozen into a block. This block would then be left out for the wolf to find.

The frenzy

The wolf would be hungry for the blood. As the block begins to melt the wolf would find the meat and begin to lick the meat and blood. With the block melting and blood flowing the wolf begins frantically licking the animal. Gradually his tongue starts to touch the blade. With every lick, the blade slices another cut into the tongue of the wolf.

The deception

With blood flowing the wolf is unable to recognise that it is his own blood which is flowing from his mouth. His continues licking and licking and the damage is done. The wolf bleeds to death.

Helpful to me

It was at leadership training Matt Hatch used this as an illustration of sin. Sin which promises so much, deceives us, wounds us deeply and leads to certain death.

This picture has been powerfully on my mind for the last couple of weeks. I don't want to start licking (pursuing, thinking about, spending time on) anything that is not pleasing to Jesus. I think this picture fits with the seriousness of warnings in the NT. I found it helpfully sobering.

Matt Giles Track

http://www.honeycombmusic.co.uk/audio/ThisWasYourDesign_acoustic.mp3

Check this out. This is vintage Matt. His music has depth and truth. Love it.

Matt wrote this to go along with our preaching series through Ephesians.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Matt Chandler on his visit to UK

Matt Chandler Interview on London, Newfrontiers, and "Prayer and Fasting" from Adrian Warnock on Vimeo.

Community

I enjoyed meeting as a Church on Sunday. Matt Giles led our worship time very well and I enjoyed preaching the gospel. After the service a large group of us headed to a local pub to grab lunch together and afterwards headed to a friends house-warming party. It was good to get a chance to speak to people who I do not usually and share life a little more with others.

Sharing Jesus

Paul writes of his affection for the Christians in Thessalonica as being expressed through sharing the gospel and themselves! This is something which is part of church life. When I first started coming to church a group of us had lunch together every week. We began to share our own lives with one another reflecting something of the early church.

A season of opportunity

It is from the sharing of life I believe authentic relationships and therefore authentic Church will be built. Many of our leaders have found it difficult to open our homes or take up invitations on Sundays after running two services. If I preach twice and have a student event in the evening I will normally try to sleep a little after lunch. I'm really looking forward to our summer season when we will be meeting all together again to let this flow. Good weather opens the opportunity for BBQ's and picnics as well. :-)

This summer

It is into an inclusive, loving, genuine community which I want to invite people who don't know Jesus. A place where people take time and take an interest in each other. Informal community flowing after our meetings is a huge blessing to me and allows us to invite and share our lives with each other and those who visit us. I look forward to a season of getting to know people more and meeting new people in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Two weeks of travels...

It has been a big couple of weeks for me. Leadership Training in Brighton, a big Sunday in Exeter followed by Prayer and Fasting in Peterborough. I'm not used to being away from home quite so much.

A huge blessing

I feel I have been really blessed. I have learnt loads from different leaders to be applied in different areas of life and ministry. It is something of way of viewing life and the reality of the gospel which I catch again when I am around people passionate about Jesus. Seeing and hearing Andrew Wilson, Joel Virgo, Matt Partridge, Matt Hatch and Matt Chandler can only be good for my soul. I hope the more I receive, the more I will have to give to the people I love in my Church and City.

It was my first time to Prayer and Fasting. It is a good time. Was good to see a couple of the boys from leadership training. You hear news and updates from the New Frontiers family. Dave Stroud and Terry Virgo shared various developments. Terry spoke of the team developing and the language which will be used to describe New Frontiers in the future. 'Autonomous interdependent apostolic spheres' was the phrase I think he used.

Praying for the nations

While fasting we had two hour sessions throughout the day with breaks in between. Each session was kicked off with a time of worship and then into praying for various items as different people shared and led us in prayer. We prayed for many different nations and regions of our nation over our time together.

Matt Chandler was awesome in the evening. He is very direct and provocative. Hopefully his message will be online soon.

Back home

We travelled back Wednesday to teach on the I.D. course. In my view it was a somewhat jaded effort. I always find it annoying what things don't go as well as they could have. A time to draw on and trust in God for me.

Asking God for help as I prepare sermon for Sunday. Glad to be home. I have a night in with my wife tonight which I am pleased to have protected in the diary. :-)