Monday, August 12, 2019

Righteousness equals...

Which are the days that have furthered you most in the knowledge of God—the days of sunshine and peace and prosperity? Never! 

The days of adversity, the days of strain, the days of sudden surprises, the days when the earthly house of this tabernacle was strained to its last limit, those are the days when you learned the meaning of this passion of “Go.” 

Any great calamity in the natural world—death, disease, bereavement—will awaken a man when nothing else would, and he is never the same again. We would never know the “treasures of darkness” if we were always in the place of placid security.

Oswald Chambers

Righteousness = peace + quietness + confidence (forever)

“And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭32:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Worship: a new kind of beauty

When human beings with diverse ethnicities, backgrounds, tastes, expectations, desires, priorities, peeves, admirations, and needs join their hearts and mind and voices and actions in unified worship of the one true God through Jesus Christ a reality has come into the world that is beautifully fitting - it befits the power and the worth of God, whose glory can win such humble, self forgetting praises from a diverse people .

John Piper (Page 35 Expository Exultation)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

His particular treasure....

Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries killed in 1956 while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador.

Jim met his future wife Elizabeth whilst at college. Although a relationship was not on the cards for them at that time as their service to God was their main priority. Following college the both served in Ecuador but on opposite ends of the country.

In the end the did marry but in the intervening time they wrote to each other regularly. Many of these letters were kept and now belong to their daughter.

Today I read a few lines from one of those letters from Jim to Elizabeth (Betty).

Now I am a mess.

“You are his particular treasure, Betty, something he paid for at a terrific cost to his own person. . . . He is bound to display you to principalities and powers as a trophy of his searching. . . . Meanwhile he keeps you for himself, hidden away, forming you in secret ways that you don’t understand. Much the same as I keep your letters . . . so he keeps the pious for himself.”

Read the post by her daughter here

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Held captive by Insiderness

This post by Seth Godin set me thinking about my experience with the church. 

Trapped by the incoming

The incoming is coming to you because a while ago, you did something brave and generous and risky. 

Incoming is great. It’s a reward for your impact. It’s a chance to serve and to make a difference. And it enables you to go to work every day. 

If you spend all your time dealing with the incoming, though, you’ll have no time and no energy to create the next thing. 

Every successful organization that has ultimately faded away via irrelevance has failed for this very reason.

It would seem that for some reason in church over time our natural (or should I say our unnatural drift) is towards the inside rather than the outside.

Most of our money is spent on the insiders
Most of our staff is focused on insiders
Most of our volunteer roles are focused on insiders
Most of our energy is spent trying to keep insiders “happy” rather than finding outsiders to welcome
Most of our discussion is around theological theory rather than embracing those who can’t understand what we are talking about but know they need help

It takes purpose to go against the flow to reattach to the core of our mission.

To seek and save the lost....

The apostles refused to be trapped by the inside problem of racial discrimination, set Godly men to lay down Godly principles, and carried on with the mission.