Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Don't panic Mr Mainwaring

It feels a bit like something out of Dad's Army. The council have found what looks like a WW2 bomb in the part of the River Avon which is right by our quarters! It is officially going to be removed next Wednesday and we might have to evacuate for two-three days. Ironically this time last year this area looked like a bomb had gone off as major rennovation work was in full swing on the flats opposite our house which itself has just had a complete refurbishment.

I'm thinking there has to be some spiritual application that can be got out of all this. How about the idea that in our personal lives many of us have issues that lie buried and even forgotten about? However if not dealt with they can threaten to destroy all our carefully constructed lives, which we rennovate on the surface time and time again. I have lost count of the times when I have dealt with someone going through a spiritual crisis and discovered that the underlying cause has been an unresolved loss, wound or sin. They are a bombs waiting to go off and when they do lots of people suffer in the blast. Time in such circumstances does not heal. The only thing that helps is bringing them to the light and letting the expertise of the Holy Spirit diffuse them

Of course, this so called bomb, could acutally be an old oil drum and all this fuss is for nothing. In which case I will have to think of another spiritual application.

Just off to get my tin helmet.

God bless


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Committed to the whole message.

A few more extracts from A W Tozer for you.

"To many observing persons today it appears that conversion does not do for people as much as it once did. Too often the experience passes, leaving the seeker unsatisfied and deeply disappointed. Some who are thus affected and who are too sincere to play with religion walk out on the whole thing and turn back to the old life..............................Something is wrong somewhere."

"Could it be that the cause behind this undeniable failure of the gospel to effect moral change is a further back failure of the messenger to grasp the real meaning of his message?
To allow the gospel only in its etymological meaning of good news is to restrict it so radically as acutally to make it something it is not. That "Christ died for our sins" according to the scriptures is good news indeed. But to limit the Christian message to this one truth alone is to rob it of much of its meaning and create a bad misunderstanding among those who hear the resultant preaching."

"It is a message of pardon and for that God be praised; but it is also a message of repentance. It is a message of atonement but it is also a message of temperance and righteousness and godliness in this present world. It tells us to accept a Saviour but it tells us also that we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. The gospel message includes the idea of amendment, of separation for the world, of cross carrying and loyalty to the kingdom of God even unto death."

The heart that has felt the weight of its own sin and along with this has seen the dread whiteness of the Most High God will never believe that a message of forgiveness without transformation is a message of good news."

Tozer was writing in the 1950/60's. Do we still make the mistake he talks about and give a limited version of the gospel? I think it is an ever present danger. In fact I think the present church gets even further away from the whole truth because very often Christ is presented only as a person who is available to satisfy our emptiness and little is spoken about the need for pardon, let alone purity.

God bless


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A bit of AW Tozer

"The most effective argument for Christianity is still the good lives of those who profess it. A company of pure-living cheerful Christians in the community is stronger proof that Christ is risen than any learned treatise could ever be."

"When the Church in America rejected the example of good men and women and chose for her pattern the celebrity of the hour, she suffered the greater loss that she has since discovered. Human greatness cannot be determined by popularity polls and not by the number of lines any man rates in the public press."

The Christian who is zealous to promote the cause of Christ can begin by living in the power of the Spirit and so reproducing the life of Christ in the sight of men. The world may pretend not to see but it will see, nevertheless and more than likely it will get into serious trouble with its conscience over what it sees."

(taken from the Set of the Sail)

God bless


Friday, 16 April 2010

We just received our copy of All the world and the report of the new work in Sierra Leone. Alan and I have a particular affinity with people planting new work and I just love the comment made by pioneer Captain John Bundu:
"The light is on, the flag is up. We are moving forward. To God be the Glory!"
I say a loud hallelujah to that and pray we might all make that our motto in these days.
God bless

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Drama of Easter
Pill Corps 2010

The Upper Room The Garden

The Judgement Hall Calvary


Easter Glory!

God bless


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Experience Easter
We had a good time celebrating Easter at Pill Corps, meeting each evening during Holy Week to consider its events scene by scene. Good Friday we met in the morning as well and like many Christians around the UK all got completely soaked as we followed a cross around our community on the Walk of witness. Easter Sunday some of us were up early ( I was certainly not bright - that time of day) for a Sunrise Service and it was great to have the band out playing Christ the Lord is risen today around the the cross that Alan had organised to be put up in the centre of our village. A good number turned out for Easter Sunday worship too.

I love Easter and there were many inspiring moments during our meditations and festivities. Such times are important because they keep our hearts tender and our fuel our passion and love for Christ. I have a burden though that much of our focus was upon our own response to what Jesus did. As Churches we made valiant attempts to get outside of our buildings but I feel we have to find even more effective ways of using the Easter celebration to communidate its glory and its meaning.

Also as I have blogged before I also have this thing about the way it is so easy to tick off events in the Christian calendar and then quickly move on to the next thing. We can end up only talking about the cross on Good Friday, the resurrection on Easter Sunday and the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. So with that in mind this Sunday at Pill we are celebrating Easter again because the resurrection is too exciting to only say thank you for once a year and because Easter can be more that a date in the calander but a life changing experience.

Lo a new creation dawning
Lo I rise to life divine
In my soul an Easter morning
I am Christ's and Christ is mine.

God bless