Monday, October 18, 2010

Who then is this...

"Natural laws were made by Christ and alter at his bidding"
John Piper

"Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
Mark 4:37-41

"The God of glory thunders....the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars...the voice of the LORD...strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, 'Glory!'"
Psalm 29:3-5,9

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stained Glass...

"To the Glory of God, in loving memory of Walter George Bailey, Captain in XV Battalion Hants, who fell in action Sept. 15, [illegible] if was the first of many to be baptised in this church. Became a devoted worker of it. He enlisted from Queens College, Cambridge while preparing for Holy Orders"
[Summer 2009, Bournemouth]

Monday, May 10, 2010

Theology on Fire...

Time for a more serious post.

I've picked a very small little book from John Stott entitled "Balanced Christianity: A Call to Avoid Unnecessary Polarisation" and just finished reading it.

It deals with four issues that have a strong tendency to divide the church and cause us to forget the Gospel: "Intellect & Emotion" (Preaching style); "Radical & Conservative"; "Form & Freedom" (Worship style and Church Structure); and "Evangelism & Social Action".

[I initially used 'vs.' instead of '&', but quickly realised there was me subtly forgetting the Gospel again!]

Published in 1975, part of me is sad we still haven't seemed to learnt from Stott - or, at least I haven't. And the main way I would learn this is through reading the Bible, and through the teaching of my Church leaders. The last thing I would want to do is point fingers, but I would recommend this tiny book to all Christians, and in particular, preachers/church leaders. They can then set their flocks an example whereby the 'othering' of other congregations with different secondary preferences is eradicated.

Anyway, this is not the main point of this post. What I wanted to present to you from the book was an extract which sums up, almost perfectly a thought/conviction I hold, and am enthusiastic about:

"In particular, nothing sets a heart on fire like truth. Truth is not cold and dry. On the contrary, it is warm and passionate. And whenever new vistas of God's truth open up to us, we cannot just contemplate. We are stirred to respond, whether to penitence or to anger or to love or to worship. Think of the two disciples walking to Emmaus on the first Easter afternoon, while the risen Lord spoke them. When he vanished, they said to each other: 'Did our hearts not burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?' (Lk. 24:32.) They had an emotional experience all right that afternoon. They described their sensation as a burning heart. And what was the cause of their spiritual heartburn? It was Christ opening the Scriptures to them!

It is the same today. Whenever we read the Scripture and Christ opens it up to us, so that we grasp fresh truth in it, our hearts should burn within us. As F W Faber once said, 'deep theology is the best fuel of devotion; it catches fire, and once kindled it burns long' (quoted by Ralph G Turnbull in A Minister's Obstacles 1946, Baker 1972, p. 97).

This true combination of intellect and emotion should be apparent in the preaching as well as the understanding of God's word. No one has expressed this better than Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who gives this striking definition of preaching: 'What is preaching? Logic on fire! Eloquent reason! Are these contradictions? Of course they are not. Reason concerning truth ought to be mightily eloquent as you see it in the case of the Apostle Paul and others. It is theology on fire. And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain, is a defective theology; or at least the man's understanding of it it defective. Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire' (Preaching and Preachers, Hodder & Stoughton 1971, p. 97)."
(John Stott, "Intellect and Emotion", p. 22-23)

I have experienced this burning heart often in my own quiet times reading the Bible, and in church listening to a sermon, or listening to one as I walk via my iPod. But not as often as I or, dare I say, God would like. Often we know what we have to do, but fall short of conviction because there is no Biblical fuel to power us on. Like a real engine, preaching puts a spark to the theology passing through the sermon. If there is not fuel, there is no movement. When we understand the Bible, we are compelled to act upon it, and we do not cease to forget it.

You can buy and read it for yourself here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What happens next...?

I've recently been watching a lot of You've Been Framed on YouTube, after rediscovering it while waiting for a Chinese takeaway and laughing very loudly in as everyone else quietly waited.

This one is very funny, but not just because of the many people falling over/hurting themselves/etc, but a set of adverts that run throughout. Well, one advert in particular!

Watch the whole clip, and notice the first advert - all for Revels sweets - and get their message: you don't know what's coming next. This first one isn't very amusing really, but you need to catch their drift. Continue watching the clip...which is here:

[Read this after watching only: I find the banana thing hilarious! To explain, when you blow the candles, you wish for something -the boy wishes he was a banana and it comes true! I think my amusement comes from... so many things! I just hope you get it...I just wasn't expecting it! Nice one Revels, but I still don't like your chocolate!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More 'Art'...

Same story as last time, but without the trees... Cool huh?

Monday, May 3, 2010


While searching Google for tips on how to draw trees, found the blog of this America chap who an Artist/Poet - so he seems to suggests. Its quite a cool idea that might also be appreciate by you the reader. Or not, either way. There are loads more too...

And in case you want to draw trees...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Four Reasons...

To encourage you to invite your friends to evangelistic events... if these 'Reasons' are often yours, then check yourself, and try not to let them interfere with your friend's salvation. I've definitely gone for each one numerous times, and am still working at avoiding them...