The Communal Problem

Is the life of faith one which is to be lived in isolation or in community? Well if you said community, ding ding, you have the correct answer. There are many of books which are floating around at present which tell us this. Why is that the case? Well across the bible we see that God in his wisdom has established human relationships and communities as the normal environment for human flourishing.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Good News in a Changing Environment

Political activity has been at a premium across the UK in the last few years with decisions being taken about the Scottish constitution, the European Union and our own parliamentary representatives at Holyrood and Westminster. As we read this we will no doubt be in the run up to voting in the next round of elections. Regardless of our political persuasions one thing we can all agree on is this; there have been big changes in the political map of the UK. Continue reading

Off The Shelf: 2016 Review

Changes seems to be the word which best sums up the past year for me on a personal level. There has been the death of a close relative, the birth of my first child (Sophia Jane Paterson), moving house, starting a new ministry role & travel to Singapore. However it also seems an appropriate word when we consider global politics. This time last year I don’t think14207610_1314793918560930_1006126931478282718_o there would have been many people who would have expected that Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson would have brought the conservative front bench to their knees. Maybe even less likely was “the Donald” winning the US Presidential election (the only president in history to receive a stunner from Stone Cold). It has also been a year of change in popular culture with the departure of many well loved contributors such as Prince, Bowie, Fisher & Rickman.

It has been a year to pay attention to for many reasons and here are things which have greatly shaped me over the last 12 months; here is my 2016. Continue reading

Glorious things of you are spoken: OMF Prayer diary Nov 2016

 “Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God” (Psalm 87:3) 

Cities are fascinating places. They are usually very busy and full of noise. People gather together to socialise, to work, to explore and to create a sense of identity for themselves. And in the midst of these activities a culture is formed uniting the various threads of diversity that the city attracts to itself. Continue reading

Exiles in the everyday

Our world thrives on material things. For some parts of the world, predominantly westernised nations, it is to consume and to consume some more. For other parts of the world, predominantly the two-thirds majority world, the idea of such a life and existence is the dream which is flaunted before them. Coupled with this is the fame game. The desire for other people to know our name, for them to hold us in high regard, that is something worth living for! And sadly, even within the church, the lure of the material and the desire for self-aggrandisement is never too far away.  Continue reading

Lessons From the Cherry Blossom

Cherry blossoms are a big deal in Japan. As spring progresses there is expectation in the air. Many across the country are waiting to see the trees erupt into full bloom. People travel the length and breadth of Japan for the simple purpose of getting the chance to soak up the wonder of nature. There is even a cherry blossom forecast estimating which date is likely to be the best for witnessing the spectacle. Continue reading