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

Local Work – Global Impact

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

Being sent at Christmas: OMF December 2016

“And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory” (John 1:14)

One of the things which struck me most as we landed back in London on the 18th of December 2014 was the vast amount of things there were to see at this time of year. Commercial Christmas was everywhere to be seen in a way that it was not in Bangkok. Lights, trees, various decorations, seasonal drinks at Starbucks… It was all there and it was quite overwhelming. Continue reading

How the cold affects the heart

One thing you can be guaranteed at this time of year in Scotland is that it will be cold outside. You can see the vapour of your breath clearly in the freezing air. You know that going out the house without a big jacket will not end well. And, for me, I know that I must have some hot black coffee in my travel mug when I go out the door! But it got me thinking that it isn’t just our physical body that feels the cold at this time of year. The drop in temperature seems to affect many other areas in our lives in real and tangible ways affecting our relationships and our spiritual life. 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

Mission Mondays: The Parade of the Athletes and the Song of Heaven

Another four years has passed already bringing with it the beginning of the Olympic games and I for one love watching the competition. It is a great spectacle, whether we like sport or not, as we see all of the different nations of the world gathering together to compete. Some arrive with high expectations of winning medals, other come knowing that just to be there is a great honour. Continue reading