Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I like it when I read old books and find stuff which foreshadows what other people are saying today.This happens a lot with people like Tozer. Here's a couple I've come across in the last couple of days:

Heres Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing in 1937- The Cost of Discipleship, but it could be Dallas Willard -

'Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ. With an abstract idea it is possible to enter into a relation of formal knowledge, to become enthusiastic about it, and perhaps even put it into practice; but it can never be followed in personal obedience. Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.'

Duncan Campbell -1956 'I want to say reverently and humbly that for me the greatest reality, the greatest fact in life is just the presence of the Lord Jesus.And I love Him; that to me is greater than preaching, it is greater than seeing revival...the greatest thing of all is just to have fellowship with Jesus'

Lord Jesus, I want to be able to say that too, and mean it. Amen

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

OK, what have I been up to for the last few days? Well towards the end of last week I was getting a bit anxious. I think it was mainly 'cos of these essays I have to do. It's crazy, I've been given this opportunity to study what I'm most interested in, and yet I still moan about the work I have to do. I guess at the bottom of it all is the fact that I'm just plain lazy. I think I inherited it. It seems a bit unfair. I mean, people get all kinds of special treatment for various problems, dyslexia, short sightedness, work related stress, but us lazy people are made to feel guilty. I didn't ask to be lazy, I was born that way. It is only through tremendous self-sacrifice and perseverence in the face of adversity that I am able to get up in the morning and function on a semi-normal level. what? ok, enough whinging

Friday evening we had our worship and prayer evening. There was only a select few of us but it was a good time of really meeting with God. We used the Lord's prayer for a structure and we had one of the best prayer times I can remember for ages. Jesus knew what He was talking about.

Saturday, I played football in Birmingham with our college team against South Birmingham Evangelical church. It was probably the best game we've played, but we got killed (7-3). I really enjoyed it though, scored a couple of goals. I love the way when you're playing football you can just switch off for 90 minutes and nothing else matters except the game. Relaxing in a knackering kind of way.

Our Sunday morning gathering at Moods was nice. Got to pray with a guy who wandered in off the street which kind of makes it all worthwhile.
Rachel came over on Sunday afternoon and yesterday we went for a day's walking in the Peak District which was great once we got away from the bank holiday traffic. So it was a great long weekend all in all, but now I REALLY need to knuckle down to some work.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Need to blog more! Housegroup was cool tonight, Su Clay was back from her O.T. placement. It was great to see her. Bert brought his friend Caroline along which was cool. Talked about Dying to Live, following on from Nick's talk on Sunday. At least we starting off talking about that then moved onto building genuine friendships with non-Christians, sorry, people who aren't yet following Jesus. It seems like lots of people feel they have nothing they can talk about with people or nothing in common and the frustration of smalltalk.
I think we need to focus on this a lot more. How to have common interests and build genuine relationships with people.
I have so much in my head at the moment. 5 essays to write. At least 3 of them have to be in in just over 2 weeks time. I find when I am stressing about 1 thing that I stress about everything else too. Church stuff. Job stuff. Future stuff. I constantly need to remind my self to hand everything back to God. I am asking God to make me delight in Him more than anything else in life.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Well, I did my preach at Beeches Evangelical church this morning. Seemed to go ok, I was probably the most nervous I've been about any talk I've done for some reason, but God really helped me when I was up there. For the childrens story I did an updated version of the prodigal son which Su helped me write, gave out balloons, party balloons and lollipops which went down well. The church was about as far removed from Coventry Vineyard as can be, ex-brethren v. conservative evangelical. We actually sang 'All Things Bright and Beautiful'. Probably the first time I'd sang that since school. They were very welcoming and v. kind about what I said (and generous too). Didn't rock the boat too much, although I did talk about how the Father lost all sense of respectability and dignity and breaking with tradition in order to run out to the lost son. And I talked about prostititutes quite a lot. (to the adults this is, not the kids!).
This afternoon was another BBQ in the park which was good fun. I love hanging out, BBQing, playing aerobie and football.
Then we had explore the bible this evening where we are continuing to read through Acts. Amazing stuff. I love the prayer of the disciples in Acts 4:24-30. v.powerful. This week as a community here at Coventry Vineyard we are agreeing to spend half an hour each day in prayer. God seems to be speaking to loads of people about prayer at the moment. Found out that, quite independantly of each other, Nick and Andrew McNeil were speaking about prayer this morning, using the Lord's prayer model. And the church I spoke at this morning did it last week. Anyway, must go to bed now. Goodnight.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

wow! 2 weeks have gone past since I last blogged here. what have I been up to? Well last week I managed to play football 3 times which was cool. Wednesday, 6 of us from college played 3 a side on half a full size pitch for an hour. Just when we were about to die, we got challenged to a game by 6 local lads (schoolboys). We got slaughtered. v. embarrassing. after 25 minutes we made our excuses and left. Thursday was 5-a-side with the Marconi boys, always a pleasure. Saturday, our college team played against a team from one of the Birmingham churches which consisted of boys and girls average age 12. We only just won. And we felt good about beating them. How sad are we?
Friday night went out to dinner at Steve and Siobhans, (with Neil and Mikey B) too. These are the guys we went snowboarding with. lovely people. Saturday night we went to a party at Steve and Jo's, for Jo's birthday. Met some friends of their's Al and Emma who are Christians. Al organises hip-hop nights in Leamington and Brum. v. funky.
I have a 'preaching engagement' on Sunday @ a little evangelical church in Birmingham. I have to do a half hour sermon and a ten minutes children's talk (yikes!). They'd best get the brushwood and matches ready. Major prayer needed.