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.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

When death is a better opportunity than life...

In the 1990s, several key leaders of the church in Iran were killed. One of the most famous martyrs, Mehdi Dibaj, gave a defense before the Islamic courts prior to his death that has become a rallying cry for many Christians in Iran. Dibaj declared:

I would rather have the whole world against me, but know that the Almighty God is with me; be called an apostate, but know that I have the approval of the God of glory. . . . Life for me is an opportunity to serve him, and death is a better opportunity to be with Christ. Therefore I am not only satisfied to be in prison for the honour of his Holy Name, but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus my Lord and enter his kingdom sooner, the place where the elect of God enter to everlasting life

Desiring God read more

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Get off the couch and gather round the table

St Francis had the table laid upon the naked earth as was his custom. And when meal lime came, St Francis & St Clare sat down together, and one of the Brothers with the companion of St Clare, and next all the other brothers, and they humbly took their places at the table. And with the first dish St Francis began to talk of God so lovingly, with such depth, so wonderfully, that the divine fullness of love descended upon him, and all were enraptured in God. And while they were thus transported with eyes and hands lifted towards heaven, the people of Assisi and Bettona and in the neighbouring towns saw that Santa Maria degli Angeli and the whole convent and woods, which then were at the side of the convent seemed to be in a great blaze.
St Francis and the foolishness of God p66

A few random unconnected thoughts
  1. The table is possibly the greatest and underused tool that we have to build community & make disciples
  2. Us charasmatic / Pentecostals dont have the corner when it comes to the supernatural 
  3. “Worship” can never be contained in a building or a time, it needs no music just hearts enraptured by and directed to Jesus.
  4. It almost sounds like a “small group” I’d go too! Lol