Monthly Archives: November 2013

Love Your Neighbour

3/11/2013 – transcript here

Makes reference to book about Neighbouring, and the author (Dave Runyon – “The art of neighbouring”) who went to a mayor and asked “What does this city need?” and the answer was “Neighbours”.  Also noted that the city planners did not have a correlation between Christians being in the neighbourhood and increasing amounts of neighbourliness, and also that the Jesus spoke about loving our neighbour.  This is something that we need to bring together.

Relationship always trumps program.  The best thing is that we could start a neighbouring movement – isn’t there something in the Bible about neighbours. Continue reading

Imagination and Revelation

On the imagination of children (page 42)

Their other advantage is their ignorance of adult notions of what things are supposed to be and do.  Adults may agree that a comb is combing hair, but children are not so limited.  They know that a comb is also a musical instrument, a sifter for seashells hidden in the sand, a back scratcher for dogs, a tool for making race tracks for ants… they prefer cents to dollars and they like to hang on to them.

BTB argues that imagination comes close to Revelation as an idea.

“Faith is the enduring ability to imagine life in a certain way” – James Whitehead (page 44)

Walking down the street she sees a man with gray matted hair, and she thinks “drifter”.  She looks twice and thinks “John the Baptist”

She sees a map with symbols and first thinks “Thank God I’m an American” and then “God help me, I’m an earthling”

She sees twice – Jesus did the same “Consider the lilies of the field”

Talks of the image of looking for animals in a picture, of looking twice because we know that there is something there, and the task is to do the same with the elements of this world.

And then God has great imagination which is why he is not finished with us yet. (page 52-53)


4th October 2013

Good thoughts on envy – how dangerous it is from the book of Proverbs (chapter 4 although can’t find the reference).

This is the silent sin which creeps up on us.

Definition – unhappiness when God blesses someone else

Think about 1. God’s blessing is not limited

2. God has more to give you

3. God rejoices in inequality (controversial and needs to be nuanced)

Think of biblical stories – Cain and Abel or David, Saul (we want to be David, we fear we are Saul, we must cast ourselves as Jonathan)



Vocation and Laity – Preaching Life – Part 2

But affirming the ministry of every baptised Christian is not an idea that appeals to many play people these days.  It sounds like more work, and most of them have all the work they can do.  It sounds like more responsibility, while most of them are staggering under loads that are already too heavy.  I will never forget the woman who listened to my speech on the ministry of the laity and said, “I’m sorry but I don’t want to be that important.” (page 29)

From Luther Continue reading

Two great tests

Proverbs 3:9-10

From Ultimate Training Camp, 23rd Jan 2005

There is an introduction on wisdom and a quotation from Agatha Christie, that Miss Marple is a woman of great wisdom.

On the adjunct of suffering and prosperity of Proverbs, that these are the two great tests of the Christian life.  To borrow an illustration from CS Lewis, they are like going down into your basement to discover if there are rats in your basement.  These two reveal to us what is going on in our hearts.

27 mins-

Quote on a woman who had known famous people before they were famous:

“I pity celebrities, no I really do.  Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Barbara Streisand were once perfectly pleasant human beings.  But now their wrath is awful.

I think when God wants to play a really rotten practical joke on you, he grants you your deepest wish and then giggles merrily when you realise you want to kill yourself.

You see, Sly, Bruce and Barbara, wanted fame.  They worked, they pushed.  And the morning after they became famous they wanted to take an overdose.  Because that giant thing they were striving for, that thing that was going to make everything okay, that was going to make their lives bearable, that was going to provide them with personal fulfillment and happiness, happened.  And they were still them.  The disillusionment turned them howling and miserable.”

32 mins – I am messed up but I am still loved.  When I am messed up I can remind myself of the affirmation of the gospel.  When I am doing well I can remind myself of the humility of the gospel.

39 mins – suffering and adversity will make you into something great.  C.S. Lewis – to say to God, “Don’t let anything bad happen to me” is really another way of saying “Don’t love me.”

Also in there a really disturbing article from Jonathan Rauch called “Seeing round corners” from Atlantic Monthly, about the way that mobs behave in despicable ways because they fear no consequence from their action.  This is here:

Talks about idolatry being revealed when a relationship breaks up and if we react in such a way that this is the end of all meaning and life, then this shows that this person had become your idol.

Always with Keller there is the hope we find in the gospel which as ever is the way through the conundrums of life, the twin pressures, the gospel always provides for us another way.