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
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible” (1 Peter 1:8)
As Peter writes to the believers scattered across the Roman empire in the first century he is well aware of the challenges that they face. For many the pressure to conform would have been immense and the risk of identifying as a believer in the crucified Messiah would have been high. Continue reading
“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the lamb!” (Rev 7:10)
As we start this new year of ministry together it is good to listen in to the chorus we hear echoing out from the throne room of heaven. It is both a very encouraging message and a great reminder of what we are involved in. Continue reading
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 think 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
It is a joy to see the way our denomination is journeying by taking up the task of reshaping for mission. Proposed church plants, revitalisation work and continued gospel ministry all point towards further kingdom growth in our nation. With that as the backdrop the words of Hudson Taylor, the founder of OMF, seem very pertinent; “Let us in everything not sinful become like the Chinese that by all means we may save some”. Loving people by bringing Jesus to them in ways which are culturally relevant is what we have signed up to; this is exciting. Continue reading
Given that I am a newbie in the world of gospel ministry I am learning a lot, a lot of the time. And one area in particular that this is the case is in preaching or delivering a bible talk. Yes, you are taught and you have the opportunity to speak whilst training. But when you have the responsibility to deliver God’s word week in and week out you quickly learn that you are not capable of undertaking this task.
However, this is not how the human mind works. I don’t know about you but I tend to overestimate my abilities and forget just how easy it is to follow the meandering road into a number of pitfalls. Here are some that I discovered in preparation to speak about the cross and the resurrection. Continue reading
Recently there have been a series of books released by the Keswick convention seeking to deal with important aspects of christian life and ministry. Mission Matters follows in this series and does not disappoint. Like many of the books written by Tim Chester (author and church leader from Sheffield) it is readable, reliable and thought provoking. Continue reading