Spent the weekend in Cambridge for Sarah Sanderson's (nee Kent) wedding. Second outing in a week for my new suit (after the wedding of the new Mr & Mrs Hearn) and a chance to watch people prancing around at the evening Ceildh. Granted I was dragged onto the dance floor once in the evening but dancing really isn't my thing. Still my uccf colleague who was also at the wedding seemed to be very taken with it, despite early protests. On Sunday we dropped in on Rock Baptist cos another colleague Al Macinnes was preaching there - soon to start as their Church Evangelist. Al's big plea is for churches to hire Evangelists as their next full-time staff member. If one thing is lacking in the church this could be it.
Al opened up Psalm 19 for us, encouraging us to read the book of the world and the book of the word to see God's self-disclosure of himself, with primacy given to the Word which reveals the LORD, as opposed to the World which reveals God. Some see too little in the world, others too much... but God is definitely spoken of by the World. A challenging talk to respond to, to call on our Rock and Redeemer.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Debbie Flood wins silver at the Olympics in the women's quadruple sculls. Debbie was a cell leader in the Christian Union when she was at Reading University,... this makes her the first Olympic medalist I've ever met. We knew she was set for rowing greatness then and now she's got it. (Has to be said I've not seen Debbie for at least a couple of years, but congratulations to her!)
"I'm a Christian and believe this is where God's put me."
(Debbie Flood, August 15th 2004)
Reported on BBC Sport Website
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Eternal hope makes all the difference. To End All Wars is one of the most moving films I've seen in a while, and to think we nearly went to see The Village tonight instead (though doubtless M. Night Shyamalan has created another excellent film). As I write cell notes on the Sermon on the Mount to see people attempting to put it's principles into practice as these POWs did adds a greater realism. Further challenges too from Sam Storms today - how much does a vision of eternity transform the way we face sin or the troubles of today. Much in line with To End All Wars, what practical real difference does having hope make? Have we become too earthly minded to be of any heavenly use? Is it not the perspective that todays treasures and troubles are only momentary that aids the Spirit's transformation of us as we gaze at the eternal joy ahead of us?
Friday, August 20, 2004
Developing a passion for the beauty of God is the subject of Sam Storms new book One Thing which I've been reading this week. In the same words as John Piper he tells of the way to glorify God being through out satisfaction in God, our enjoyment and delight in the glory of who our God is.
Storms quotes from Augustine's record of his conversion...
“How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, O Lord my God, my wealth, my salvation.”
Capturing the same spirit as C.S. Lewis....
we are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, ignorant children preferring to make mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are too easily pleased...
It is as we gaze upon the majesty and beauty of Jesus in scripture that we are transformed - 2 Corinthians 3v18
The battle against sin is fought and won not through legalistic rules and regulations but by seeing the supremacy of the beauty of God as incomparably greater than the supposed joys of sin.
Sam Storms, One Thing (Christian Focus, 2004)
Read the first chapter of Sam Storm's earlier book Pleasures Evermore (NavPress) [PDF, 145KB].