“Worth Quoting 8”

I am regularly bursting to say something about the most precious things in the universe – and not in any disinterested, dispassionate, composed, detached, unemotional, so-called scholarly way, but rather with total interest, warm passion, discomposure, utter attachment, and fully emotional, and I hope always, true.

John Piper
The Pastor as Scholar and The Scholar as Pastor. Reflections on Life and Ministry with D.A. Carson


Maintaining Our Spiritual Health

Some notes from the message on Maintaining Our Spiritual Health – Sunday April 17, 2011

Preach the Gospel to yourself regularly
At Easter Jesus was condemned. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. http://bible.us/Rom8.1.ESV

The gospel or good news is not just the grace of God that saves us but it is also the grace of God that sustains us. We don’t start with the spirit and seek to perfect ourselves in the flesh – it begins and ends with the Holy Spirit leading, guiding and showing us the way.
Study Romans for the most complete understanding of the Gospel and Galatians for Paul’s personal and impassioned plea to never loose what was gained by Jesus for our benefit – the good news.

Read and study the Bible regularly
Listen to worship or uplifting music

– Simply being in a room with people is not fellowship.
– Find out about each other by asking questions.
– Pray for each other
Get over offenses quickly
– Forgive those who hurt you
– Pray for them
– Do good to them even if it is not returned
– Speak with them and do your best to get things cleared up
Guard your heart against all forms of pride
– Overt
– Covert
– Spiritual
Keep in good physical shape
– Rest
– Recreate
– Keep active
– Keep hydrated
Keep in good financial shape
– Prepare a budget
– Stick to your budget
– Live without a credit card if you can or keep a very small limit and try not to be tempted to increase it
– Save for your future and regular holidays
Be an encourager
– Be genuine
– Initiate and don’t always wait to be encouraged
– When you think of people pray for them or txt, call or inbox them

“Worth Quoting 7”

I think people want to be magnificent. It is the job of the leader to bring out that magnificence in people and to create an environment where they feel safe and supported and ready to do the best job possible in accomplishing key goals. This responsibility is a sacred trust that should not be violated. The opportunity to guide others to their fullest potential is an honor and one that should not be taken lightly. As leaders, we hold the lives of others in our hands. These hands need to be gentle and caring and always available for support.
Ken Blanchard (Author of the One Minute Manager 1982)

Advice to Pastors

This is a great video interview between Rick Mckinley, pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland Oregon and Eugene Peterson, author of “The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language”.

In this interview we see a man who has learned over time that he was a pastor by gifting, ability and eventually calling, who then had to learn how to actually be a pastor.

There is some heartfelt, wise, and timely advice along with a warning or two for all of those called to pastor as well as giving those who are being pastored an insight into the challenges of this vocation.

“Worth Quoting 6”

The Gospel falls upon man as God’s own mighty Word, questioning him down to the bottom of his being, uprooting him from his securities and satisfactions, and therefore tearing clean asunder all the relations that keep him prisoner within his own ideals in order that he may be genuinely free for God and for his wonderful new work of grace in Jesus Christ.
Karl Barth

The vineyard

Well 2009 has come to an end and I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for making it a very special year.

The kingdom of God is on the move across the whole world and it is made up of those who have decided to follow Jesus from every tribe, tongue, nation and denomination. Each local church could be thought of as a separate vineyard within the vastness of God’s kingdom, each having its own unique vintage that includes colour, body, flavour and smell all of which should be easily recognizable and appreciated. As a church Jesus is pressing out this vintage which is made up of each of us, and includes our giftings, callings, passions, and enthusiasm. These ingredients are being blended together to create a continual supply of new wine that is to be shared with a world that is thirsty but often does not realise it.

With that in mind I want to encourage each of you that our little vineyard at City Edge is taking shape and not only is it looking good but the fruit is starting to bud in readiness for a wonderful harvest each year that lies ahead. There is a place for everyone of us in this vineyard and 2009 saw the beginnings as we started to find out what part of it that we have been called to work in. I have thoroughly enjoyed rubbing shoulders with you as we have tended the vines together.

No one puts new wine into old wineskins as both will be destroyed we need new wine in new wine skins and this year promises to be one where the new wine of the good news that is Jesus – needs to be kept in new wine skins made up of first and foremost hearing him every step of the way. Not relying on what has worked in the past or blindly importing what is working in another vineyard, but actively listening to voice of the master vine-dresser and what it is that he wants to do in his vineyard.

I want to wish you all a really fantastic 2010 and on behalf of Rhonda & Alex we are really looking forward to sharing it with all of you.

“Worth Quoting 5”

The need of today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other like fruit from a root. The need is Bible doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men on fire.
C.H. Spurgeon

Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm. Something of ‘the image of Christ’ must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings.

“Worth Quoting 4”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

If we, then are not our own but the Lord’s, it is clear what error we must flee, and where we must direct all the acts of our life. We are not out own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal. O, how much has that man profited who, having been taught that he is not his own, has taken away dominion and rule from his own reason that he may yield it to God! For, as consulting our self-interest is the pestilence that most effectively leads to our destruction, so that sole haven of salvation is to be wise in nothing through ourselves but to follow the leading of the Lord alone.
John Calvin

Breaking News: Young guys found studying the Bible…

I have  just came back from spending another evening studying some basic theology with two of our young guys from City Edge.

We are working our way through the book Bitesize Theology by Peter Jeffery. It’s a small easy to understand introduction to Christian Theology and just right for the guys to become familiar with some big Bible words like Redemption, Justification, Sanctification and Regeneration.

We are half way through the 10 session course and what has impressed me the most is as the guys have dug into their studies – how God has opened up points of view on different aspects of Theology through them that I have never personally seen before.

Tonight we were looking at repentance, faith and reconciliation and I thought I would leave you with how they described reconciliation in their own words.

The reconciliation message is that God allowed his son to die so we could come back to him. It’s God fixing our mistake.

The message of reconciliation to me is an example of God’s awesome love and grace. He loved us so much that even though we wanted nothing to do with God, and we had turned our backs on him, he still made it possible to know him and have eternal life. He never turned his back on us or gave up. Even while we were sinners he sent his son to die on our behalf and offered us forgiveness and eternal life. Through God’s grace he gave us not what our works deserve but what he wants for us.