religion

Church

15 Lessons From My Social Media Sabbatical


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  1. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram are not worthy of more than a little of my time.
  2. Always bless those who persecute & don’t curse (lash back at) them in response. (Romans 12:14).
  3. Sharing compulsively via social media is a huge enemy of prayer.
  4. Speaking/writing remains absolutely essential. (Jeremiah 20:9).
  5. Expect misunderstanding and judgment especially from nominal, lukewarm, denominationally-blinkered Christians. (John 15:18-19).
  6. Love will always seem harsh & unloving to some.
  7. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs or feel like you need to explain yourself to those unsettled by what God is doing in your life. Pigs sometimes wallow in the Church too.
  8. Fear of man is a snare as much in the Church as it is on the streets (Proverbs 29:25).
  9. Read more, especially complex texts first thing in the morning and devotional material last thing at night.
  10. Divine Pathos explains everything.
  11. The Holy Spirit doesn’t care about my popularity or CV.
  12. Persistent emphases of my heart over decades are the fingerprints of the One who made me.
  13. Relational peace isn’t always possible – Jesus didn’t come to make us all best friends or even friends at all.
  14. Some people see things radically different from me. That doesn’t make them bad people but it does limit relational proximity.
  15. At no point in eternity will I ever feel like I was too intense about the second coming of Christ.

For those of you who follow my material, you may be interested to know that I’ve been working on a new manuscript due for completion at the end of January 2019. Check in on the blog for updates into February 2019. 

 

 

Theology

Earthly Use


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They talk about being “so heavenly minded to be of no earthly use”. I’d like to smash this myth…

…the inference of this statement is that thinking outside the supernatural order and realm of things has a limited shelf life (a little is OK but a lot isn’t) but this isn’t quite the point:

Even if one person thought about heaven (say) for 1% of their life, another thought about it for 10% and another 100%, the only real issue of concern is how that person lives as a result of their heavenly-mindedness, not the heavenly-mindedness per se.

Applying heavenly-mindedness is the real challenge not thinking of heaven less. We must close the gap between what we say we believe and how we live.

The Apostle Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. (Philippians 1:21). His heavenly-mindedness was so pervasive that he actually would have preferred to die (and be Christ) than remain in the body (without Him). But his extreme heavenly-mindedness also included the mentality of how to best apply this preference…ie in this case to remain with the Philippian church for their “progress in the faith” (Philippians 1:25).

I don’t know about you but, by the grace of God, I will be more heavenly minded into 2019 than I have ever been…

“Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God”

~ Jim Elliot

… #JesusCome

Reading, Theology, Worship

No Compromise


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I’m currently reading Tom Wright’s brilliant biography on the Apostle Paul. I’m also currently reading “No Compromise” by Melody Green – the life story of her late husband Keith Green.

Books separated by 45 years of church history and current affairs, they are dissimilar in many ways but, at their beating heart, are actually more alike than they’re not.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to take a chapter from Wright and a song from Green and blog about the essential nature of these two men used mightily of God, though in different ways and at different times.

Keith Green, like the radical Jim Elliot, died tragically at the age of 28. I’m now 38 and so have already had an extra decade more on the planet than did these two fine brothers.

Like Paul, for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21) and, convinced of my fruitful labour for the progress and joy in the faith of others, (Philippians 1:25), I too will remain and become even more undignified than this as I learn to love as I should, singing and proclaiming unto Christ a ‘new devotion’