Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Tuesday Thought

“[God Disciplines His Sons] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Now here's another verse that brings us such good advice and yet there is perhaps a stumbling block as well. Those who know me will know I am not exactly built for running races so suggesting that I run the race with perseverance doesn't quite work.

The good thing of course is that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that is even greater than when this verse was written.

It is of course not so easy to throw off the things that hinder us and the sin that so easily entangles - we are after all mere humans who live in the world with all its temptations.

But let's try with the help of the cloud of witnesses to at least walk the race with perseverance so that we may one day enter in to the joy of the Lord and hear those words ' well done thou good and faithful servant'.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Another thought

I check the daily verse that comes up on here and some of them just start me thinking so I thought I might share the odd thought with readers - I am not trying to comment on every verse but will do it when the verse triggers somehting off in my head.

“Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

I like this verse because it allows me to be like a child in some ways - the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children - I think the next time I dribble when I am eating something like corn on the cob I might remind my wife of this verse.
Elsewhere we are told that we need to be like children and sometimes I wonder if we forget this - we lose our way because we try to be far too analytical in our faith. In general terms I find that children are often more accepting of ideas and concepts and can believe the bible stories a lot more than us adults do.

I have been looking at the book of Revelation recently (Oh no I hear some of you say) and there is so much in there that people try to analyse and work out hidden meanings. Sometimes I think we would do well just to read it right through and picture in our minds all the marvellous things that John saw in his vision - I think the city alone will be something to see and if all the other stuff is there as well it will be an absolutely marvellous place to see and be in.

I suppose that our loss of childhood in this respect is partly down to Paul who urged us to put aside childish things but hey I enjoy a good water pistol fight any day and I really do think it is so easy to be old before we are.

I hope I am like a little child for a long time to come and that I will still be misbehaving for many years to come - my wife says I am always naughty, especially when I am in church business type meetings. I really do enjoy it though.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Just a thought

“But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)

Now here's an interesting question that was posed to Simon Peter but you know we could easily be asked the same question. 'Who do you say I am?' Jesus says to Simon Peter.

I wonder what our answer would be if Jesus were to ask us the same thing? Would we say what Simon Peter said or would our answer be a little less positive. Would our answer be influenced by the thinking in our wider society, would we not be positive in our response in case we upset someone else or would we go for it with no thought of any potential consequences?

I am fairly sure a lot of my readers might say the same thing but there may also be readers who would not - because they have never realised the truth that he is the Christ the son of the living God!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Thought for Saturday

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

This is a verse that I really like but again it is quite challenging and one of those that is difficult to live up to. What a statement to start off 'I am not ashamed of the gospel' and I would hope that all of us who claim to be a Christian could say this but do we then live up to the saying?

I was thinking about this recently after I had preached and talked about the interesting conversations I had at work on Mondays when they asked me what I had done the weekend. Somebody had asked me if I really did this and I had said yes and they had said they couldn't do it. I do understand how hard some people might find this difficult but the second part of the verse should give us courage when it reminds us that it is the power of God for salvation. There is no greater power than the power of the almighty, and if God is for us who can be against us.

I suppose part of the difficulty as well is that we are worried about offending other people because it seems this is something that is prevalent in the minds of people these days.

I really do think that if we share the gospel gently and not take a sledgehammer to crack a nut there should be little reason for people to take offence.

Vestry Prayer for Sunday 18th July 2010

Lord God at this gathering of your people we pray that you would be present with us, we ask that you would speak to us as we sing your praises, listen you word and share in the word that our brother/sister bring today.
As we consider the busyness of Martha may it be that we will take some time to be hearers of the word so that we can then become doers of the word too.
WE pray your blessing on our time off fellowship today in Jesus name .Amen.

Friday, 16 July 2010



As many of my readers will know in Methodism we have various committee type meetings where usually the business of running the church is the main topic on the agenda. Last night at our Circuit Meeting we had a presentation that after we had watched it the Superintendent said if he had realised the content of the presentation was very disturbing he would have written to people to warn them. I think that would have been a bad move given the topic and content of the presentation.

We were considering what I can only describe as a barbaric activity called female genital mutilation. I found it hard to believe that this went on but the facts are there and what is even more disturbing is despite the illegality of this practice there are large numbers of girls in this country who are sent back to there ancestral home to have this dreadful procedure carried out.

I really do think this is a topic that needs a much higher profile and would urge readers to have a look at the World Health Organisation's website for further information. I would like to urge those other bloggers who read this blog to consider putting something on their blogs about this topic.

I make no apology for posting on this particular topic as I was absolutely appalled to learn that such barbaric practices take place usually on girls between the ages of 4 and 14.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Thought for Thursday

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:21)

Now here's another interesting verse today and I think quite a difficult one to follow given the state of the world in 2010.

I suspect it would be easy for us to think that we have no moral filth or and evil in our lives - if we are Christians then surely we are living a godly life and doing our best to follow God's commands, and yet how can we not be tainted to some extent by what we read and see in the newspapers and on T.V.

It may be that if we lived in a cocoon or on a desert island that this would be a much easier verse for us to follow, but of course we don't - we live in the real world where there are real issues around evil. Of course we could adopt a 'Holier that thou' attitude and only mix with other Christians but how then are we being salt and light in the world?

We have to I believe do what we can to share the love of God and to take encouragement from the second part of the verse claiming the promise that the word that is planted in us can save us.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Thought for today

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.” (John 15:10).

This is an interesting verse and one of those that many people find challenging - there are two things contained in this verse that many of us are reluctant to do.

The first difficulty is with the plea to obey - not something we find easy and I suppose to some extent we try from a very early age not to obey. We tend to push the boundaries to see what we can get away with and often if we are given an instruction to obey there is a temptation to test it out - think of the 'Wet Paint Do Not Touch' sign and how often we find ourselves wanting to see if it really is wet.

The second difficulty is with commands - how hard it is to follow a command - I am much more likely to react positively if asked than if I am told and I suspect there will be many who can associate with this thought.

And yet what a promise there is in this verse - the promise that if we do obey His commands we remain in His love. What better place can there be?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Complaint received!

I have received a complaint via my son from one of my readers who has expressed their disappointment at the lack of posts on this blog.
There is no single reason for this and it is probably a combinations of things that has led to the lack of posts.
We have been undergoing a re-shaping at work and this has meant I have been quite busy at work as I prepared to move into a new team at a different office and some days I have felt quite drained - this is my second week in the new location and it has really been in some senses like starting a new job. The experts reckon there are a number of stages in team building -forming;storming;norming and performing and I reckon there is a little way to go yet.
Away from work I have also been busy with activities at my own church and preaching engagements at others - on Sunday last I had three appointments and each one needed a different approach and in fact a different sermon.
I am also trying to write my second book 'Neither use nor ornament' due to the success of the first book (over 100 copies sold) which I never really intended to sell.
In addition to all this I made contact with a cousin I haven't seen for almost forty years through a colleague at work who is on facebook and I have been exchanging some emails with her and doing some catching up.
I suppose one of the biggest issues which I think I have hinted at before is that blogging can be quite a lonely business - I know how many people look at the blog but some I believe arrive by accident and stay a matter of seconds while others arrive and stay for some time but I think that sometimes it might be good to get the odd comment from visitors. I do note that some other blogs which are more controversial than mine generate a number of comments - perhaps that is a tack I should take.
I have I think also said before that sometimes there is an issue I think about blogging on but when I actually get five minutes to sit down and do it there are a number of other bloggers who have covered the topic and I feel there is no point in covering the same ground over and over.
Anyway I will try to do better in the next few weeks - if only to keep the complainant happy.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Vestry Prayer for Ordinary 15 year C

Living Lord as we gather to worship today we pray that you would be with us. We ask O Lord that our hearts and mind would be open to you and to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and that we would be a kingdom people bringing our worship to the King of Kings.
Be with our brother/sister as they lead our time of worship and bring your word to us. As we have heard your word and been fed may we be encouraged to bear witness to those we come into contact during the coming week.
We bring our prayers in the name of Jesus.