Good News About Failure

Success failure

There is a temptation for preachers to take the victory of the Gospel beyond the the age that that we live in. The reality is that we all face failure and suffering, but this doesn’t mean that we have failed as Christians or committed some terrible sin. After all, the apostle Paul spent years in prison and was eventually beheaded; was that because he ignored the will of God, or because he followed it?

I have to apologise to the more sensitive, because I do have a bit of a rant 😉

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So Here It Is, Merry Advent…

 

 

Oh Come EmmanuelMerry Advent!

What is advent anyway?

At the risk of sounding nerdy, the word comes from the latin meaning, coming; which in turn, comes from the Greek word, parousia, which the New Testament uses to describe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally a season where Western churches anticipate the nativity celebrations and Jesus’ eventual reappearing.

For the rest of us, it’s the beginning of the Christmas season. Read more

7 Reasons Why People Should Be Protected From Prayer Advert

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There are some very good reasons why corporate powers banned the Lord’s Prayer from being advertised in our cinemas.

1 – Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name

Do we really want the claim that there is a moral and holy God, unleashed into our corporate and entertainment worlds? People might get the idea that their lives do matter and that they should live intentionally. Read more

The God Who Camps With His People

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 I hear of some Christians, who disregard or dislike the Old Testament, they say things like “God is so angry” or “God is so unjust in His treatment of people”. When people say this to try and undermine the Scripture, what they tell me is that they don’t understand the Old Testament, and confuse their ignorance with God’s character. The reality is of course that the Old Testament contains the history, reason and revelation of the New, and as we understand more about it, the New Testament starts to stand out in vivid multi-dimensional colour.

The writers of the New Testament really knew what they were doing and were capable of using individual words to convey a truckload of imagery and meaning, which can empower us to really grasp the magnitude of what God has done. A great example of this is in John 1:14, where we read that Jesus “made His dwelling among us” NIV, or as the ESV says “dwelt among us”. Clearly, this is amazingly good news, but if we look a little deeper the picture becomes even more exciting. Read more

Good Game? I Don’t Think So…

Bruce Forsythe

Bruce Forsythe has added his name to the growing list of celebs and politicians who want to be able to put people down. Whilst his comments seem to come from a concern for the suffering of the individual, he, just like  the others is very misguided.

My beautiful mother in-law is 85 this year and has Alzheimers; we have prayed for her and are grateful that she has improved in some areas, she has regained her cheeky sense of humour and a desire for life, she wants to live until she is 100. According to Baroness Warnock, this beautiful lady should do her duty and be “put down” as she is a burden on her family and society.

In a recent survey among doctors in the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal, 40% of them said they could conceive of ‘assisting’ someone with early stage dementia. The question is, how vulnerable are these people, could they be persuaded that it was for the best, could corners be cut and any legal safeguards be circumvented? Of course! It is already happening on the continent, and those of us in other countries need to stand our ground on this one.

In the UK, medical staff are already being disciplined over their views on abortion. Imagine this nightmare playing out in the media.

The reality is, if we want to live in accordance with God’s kingdom, then we will have to bear one anothers burdens (Gal 6:2). The desire to abort the mentally ill is one of the most vile and extreme manifestations of what the Bible calls the flesh – the self centred, make my life easy desire that drives the world. How a society treats its most vulnerable is the measure of its people.

As believers we need to be careful that we are not squeezed into the mould of atheistic thinking that states we are simply a collection of elements that needs to be recycled. Human beings are made in the image of God, it was God who breathed into us and we do not have the right to extinguish that breath in the name of convenience.

We demonstrate God’s kingdom by living according to His values and desires

Is it difficult and expensive to care for people? Do we face terribly difficult decisions when it comes to the care of others? Yes! We live in a broken world that is longing for the appearing of the Lord Jesus so that everything that is broken will be put right. Until then, we demonstrate God’s kingdom by living according to His values and desires, and not those of selfishness and convenience.

Go well my friends.

 

What Is Truly Worth Dying For?

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It’s no good; I have to come clean about what I really believe.

I have been a Christian for over 30 years, and the last few years have been difficult. In that time I have read and studied quite a lot, I have connected with people with all sorts of views about God and the Bible; I have read books from Catholics to Charismatics, Calvinists to Wesleyans and many in between.

In one sense I pushed everything I believed off the table and started again, not accepting my beliefs at face value, but challenging every assumption and trying to think them through. I have found there were things I believed because I assumed it, people told me it was so, or it was simply convenient. Read more

How the Seven Year Tribulation is doing damage today.

 

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WARNING! I might rant a bit here, but you will see why… Anyone who follows my Facebook pages will know that I am a great fan of Open Doors and the amazing work they do. Thanks to them and other outstanding organisations like them, the plight of Christians being imprisoned, tortured and murdered comes to our attention, or at least to some of us, and with our support they are able to do something about it. Read more

Things We Really Need To Know About The Ascension

ascension7Most Christians are familiar with the main facts of Jesus’ life on earth; He was born, did some miracles, died on a cross, rose again three days later, and finally went back to heaven. Whilst there is nothing wrong with our chronology, I do believe that there has been a massive lack of understanding when it comes to what these events really mean. Saying the ascension was simply when Jesus went back to heaven is like saying the Magna Carta and the United States Declaration of Independence are just a couple of old documents. The meaning behind these and the impact on the world are immense, but the meaning of the ascension goes to a whole other dimension of significance.

Most of us will have seen pictures of Jesus being taken into the sky and disappearing into the clouds, with the disciples left staring until they are given an angelic wake up call and the promise that Jesus will return in the same way. From this scene we are lead to believe that Jesus is now ‘up’ in heaven, waiting for the time on God’s calendar to come back down again to wrap everything up, but there is so much more. Read more

3 Things Jesus’ Resurrection Means To Us Today

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 The resurrection of Jesus Christ is so much more than a cosy spiritual concept or the assurance of an after life. Of course the spiritual dimension is huge, and while it does guarantee both life after death and a personal resurrection; Jesus’ bodily resurrection has an equally important impact on the way we see the world and live our lives in the here and now. Read more