It sounds so wrong when they say it but the flight attendants are right – if you’re travelling with children and the oxygen masks drop down, put your own on before fitting your kids’. Your instinct will be to help them, but if you conk out first, the kids can’t help you. And you can
An artist in a church decided that one way she could use her gifts was to design cards, especially ‘Thank you’ cards, for people to express their appreciation for each other. I didn’t buy any – partly because they were a bit pricey, but mostly because I thought they were a bit too over-the-top in
The business guru Peter Drucker says that the single most important characteristic of effectiveness is that we know where our time is spent. And ministry being ministry, that means a whole range of duties and tasks – including the unexpected. Into an already full week, God sends a funeral, a pile of urgent admin from
What are we here for? What is the purpose of anything and everything we do? If we’ve been paying any attention to John Piper then you’ll know the answer off the top of your head: we bring God glory. Here’s how 1 Peter puts it, and notice the two purposes: But you are a chosen
The Bible, we rightly say, is a library not one book. But unlike any other library, and unlike other religious books like the Qur’an, it has a coherent narrative from open to close. Getting to that coherence takes a little bit of work, but not much, and any Christian could be able to grasp the
You can define an organisation three ways – by its centre, which is what it holds most dear, its circumference, which is where the limits lie for what it may or may not accept, and by its cause, which is what gives it life, energy, and what it would die for. The centre for us,
Once upon a time, a man was invited to be the minister of a large, and orthodox church. They wanted someone with traditional reformed views, they said, who would preach and teach well. He was very enthusiastic. What he discovered was that by Reformed they meant, that they loved the words and ambience of the
When Jesus underlined the first and greatest commandment he added to it. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength’ (Mk.12:30). What was implicit throughout the Old Testament, that truth and words and wisdom are aspects of God’s character and therefore of
I’m doing the all-age part of the service on Sunday, which includes teaching a memory verse. That word ‘memory’ is important – how do I move from teaching a verse, to teaching people to remember? And how do I get it out of short-term memory into long term recall? Choose a verse that can
So, I’ve suggested thee angles to answering the question of what is beautiful. Angle 1: something is beautiful because it is truthful. The words or ideas it uses resonate with reality, and we recognise and enjoy that. Angle 2: something is beautiful because it affects or moves us, perhaps with delight, often with sadness, and
Some things just work, and because they work well they give pleasure. If you doubt that, think about what happens when something doesn’t work, and how you experience the opposite of pleasure. A fork is an elegantly simple solution to a problem, and it has hardly changed since its introduction. The robotic explorer on Mars
The summary of Willow Creek’s survey on spiritual maturity, summarised for church planters is available here You’ll need to open this post to activate the link.
A short video by Jim Packer on God’s holiness and our preaching. You’ll need to open this post to activate the link.
Yesterday was gorgeous. The sky was palest blue, dusted with pink and orange, there was enough snow to reflect the winter sunlight, and enough mist to make it soft at the edges. The God who made that is gorgeous. His wisdom and righteousness are breathtaking. Even the gorgeousness of creation, which he decided, using a
I can order a coffee fluently in a number of European languages, but beyond that the curse of Babel hits hard. I have a little schoolboy French, some tourist’s Italian and German but beyond that I’m stumped. Words matter. I had a tortuous few days in Belgium in an area where to get the language
The Culture section of my Sunday paper covers the same things every week: plays and music, opera and ballet, books, movies and the rest. And only very rarely is anything remotely Christian covered. Which a moment’s reflection would show, is very odd. Because, before the last half century, any artistic contribution only made sense with
Next year will see a second “Passion for Life”, as evangelical churches across the UK co-ordinate their evangelism for one intense week. If youd like to find out more, and perhaps get your church involved in the events, there’s a promotional vimeo clip here (requires Flash). And 10ofthose.com is already offering the training DVDs for small groups.
The gospel is all about growth. Jesus’ kingdom will be one over every tribe, nation and language. The earth will be filled with his glory as the oceans cover the sea. He told parables about growing plants, frothing yeast, bursting wineskins, full harvests – did he tell any about decline? That means the gospel grows
I was sure the speed limit was forty, but the police were equally sure it was thirty, and so I found myself on a Speed Awareness Course, finding out about the dangers of speeding, and tips for driving safely. One of which was to select the right gear by listening to the engine. Choose the