Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Preventing a scandal

Week after week we seem to come across some news about some scandal in some ministry. Some pastor has messed things up or it may just be some member of a congregation. Surprise is usually one of the reactions. That's the last person I would have expected to do that is a common statement.

What that tells me is that it can happen to any of us if we are not careful. I read the following this week. 10 tips to prevent a scandal in your own life. Originally posted by Charisma Magazine.

1. Live a humble, transparent life.
2. Stay open to correction.
3. Audit your actions regularly.
4. Stay in touch with the real world.

Ministry is about loving people. But you will never develop compassion unless you are close enough to the grass roots to smell the poverty, lay hands on the sickness and cry with those who are in pain.
5. Don’t allow people to make you a celebrity.
6. Make family a priority.
7. Live modestly and give extravagantly.
8. Don’t build your own kingdom.
9. Develop keen discernment.
10. Maintain your spiritual passion.

People who experience moral failure almost always lose their spiritual passion first.

I would add number 11 - Keep your relationship with Jesus sweet and intimate.

What would you add?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nothing stays the same

On holiday I caught up with an old friend, Andra Whyte. He is a great guy and owner of a huge trawler, Forever Grateful, based in Fraserburgh.

He kindly gave me and the family a tour round his boat. Now my family have been fishermen as long as I know about. Brother, dad, grandad have all been fisher men. My dad owned 5 different trawlers so I spent a lot of time in and around boats as I grew up. During school holidays I would often spend a couple of weeks on the boat. What I remember is a tough job and a reasonably tough life on board.

On this new massive boat things are certainly different. All the aspects from the sleeping arrangements, kitchen, deck etc are luxurious compared to what I remember. The wheelhouse seemed to be completely computerised and knowledge of computers would seem to be a requirement for the job of a fisherman now. Things have progressed and boats have moved with the times making sure they have become better and better at catching fish.

Why is it that sometimes in the church that we think the best way to do something is how we did it years ago. Was it so good 10, 20, 40 or even 50 years ago. Were so many more people getting to know Jesus for the first time. We shouldn't ditch everything or change the message the good news of Jesus never changes but surely we have many more methods and ways to share the message today.

Same message more methods. Asking a skipper like Andra to ignore all the advancements and go back to the way things were done would be madness. Lets not do the same with the most crucial fishing adventure in the planet.

Home from home

I got back from a weeks holiday yesterday. I've been up to my home town for a week. It was a very quiet relaxing time. There really is very little to do there. We visited many many coffee shops - but I'll be glad to get back to my favourite haunt in Starbucks.

There was little or no Internet access so I had no e mail, no blogs to read and no Internet to surf. I had my MacBook but it felt like it was broken with no Internet access! Without the the Internet something was missing. Made me think about how sometimes I can loose my connection with Jesus. I still look the same, act the same, talk the same but really there is something missing. I need to ensure I always have a good connection to Jesus in my life.

Its back to work with a bang:

1. We launched "40 days of community" our new teaching series on Sunday.

2. We are developing some exciting ideas for our church to be part of for Christmas.

3. The Ultimate Event looms ever nearer and Bands have been difficult to sort out.

4. There are a number of meetings this week regarding our proposed development of new facilities at Church.

Time to hit the ground running.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Its Wednesday so its business time

This totally cracked me up. Now I'll find out if my wife reads my blog. Thank God for Wednesdays.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm a Christ follower

Check out the video below:

Salvation Joy

At the weekend I fulfilled a long standing obligation to go and preach at on old friends church. I met him about 25 years ago in Bible College. It was great to meet up with him and his wife again.

In church we sang that song based on Psalm 51 which has a line in it: "Restore unto me the Joy of my salvation". You know them times when you feel like Jesus is standing right next to me prodding me in the ribs saying listen to what you are singing.

I remember the first time I heard that song thinking why on earth would you have to ask God to restore Joy over the best thing that has ever happened to you. Salvation is like all your birthdays and Christmas's coming at once and more beside. And I have to ask God to sort out how I feel about that. As though I could be sad about God's greatest gift.

I know now there are some things that take away your Joy:

We take Jesus and what he has done for granted.
We allow circumstances to dominate our lives.
We replace intimacy and relationship with rituals.
We replace knowing Jesus with doing things for him.

But I think the number one problem in loosing our Joy in our Salvation is sin in my life.

In Psalm 51 that was David's problem. He had messed up big time and he was living with guilt. He had sinned against God and he couldn't live with himself and he found it hard to live before God. The great thing is that the antidote to guilt is forgiveness. We can have the certainty that as we confess our sin to God he has promised to forgive us. We are accepted because of his "Unfailing love".

The best way to restore the missing joy of salvation is just to take time out now and meditate on what Salvation is and what it means for you.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't put Jesus first

Steven posted this on his blog.

The worst thing you can do as a Christian is to try and put Jesus first in your life.
I know it sounds good, and Lord knows, I’ve said it plenty:
Put Jesus first, your family second, your job third…
But it’s a flawed paradigm.

Jesus doesn’t want to be first on your list. He doesn’t need your shout out.
He’s not content to be first in your life.
He insists on being the center of your life.

Putting Jesus first in my life means I kind of segregate Him from my other priorities.
Making Him the center of my life means I integrate Him into every priority.

It’s not Jesus, then my family, then my job…
It’s Jesus: in my family, in my job…

It’s not Jesus, then anything…
It’s Jesus in everything!

Said that phrase many times God help me to keep you at the centre of everything.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lesson time

Yesterday I was working away on some stuff. Think I was developing our website or something like that when the phone rang. Someone had stopped by church and wanted to see a pastor urgently.

It seemed like I was the only guy around could I see him? Now if I am truthful my first thought was oh no! This is going to be another waste of time. Its going to be another person looking for money and of course we have never laid eyes on them before and will probably not do again. But we are a church and people seem to think we should give them money. So I made some flippant comment to the office staff and set of to meet the guy.(shows you the garbage in my mind)

To my absolute surprise and shame I met a great guy who had some hard times recently but in the middle of it had connected with God. Friends had advised him to come to our church and he wanted to come along before Sunday and check the place out so at least he would know someone when he turned up!

God proceeded to kick me around my office bringing back to my mind some of the things I have said like "Its all about People" "People matter to us".

Sorry God!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Conservative Conference

Posting this not as an endorsement of the Conservatives or their policy but because of the passion shown by Dave Sharples from Frontline.

Guys like this inspire me because you can see their sacrifice and passion not for position or power but for children and young people.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Had a great time on Sunday starting our new series Time 2 Build as we look at the book of Nehemiah. The thing that hits me most as I started to study the life of Nehemiah was that he was a man of prayer.

I know its a bit of a cliche but he really was. At least 9 times through the book Nehemiah went to prayer. He prayed before he started the job, he prayed on the job, he prayed in difficult circumstances and he prayed in thankfulness.

He hears the bad news and he goes to prayer. Its so easy to complain and criticise. He could have blamed the leaders for the mess they made. He could have blamed people for not making right choices but he went to God in prayer.

Complaining is not the same as changing something. Sometimes by talking about some thing we think we are doing something about it. We are not. He doesn’t phone up his friends or log on to his blog and glory in reporting how bad it has become in Jerusalem. It’s a sad existence if you get your self worth about communication about someone else’s misfortune.

Talk to God about a situation first and get his perspective.

Nehemiah's prayer was a prayer of:


Its a good path to follow.