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
Around this time we hear a similar phrase being used in everyday conversation. It usually goes something like this; “what are you giving up for lent?”, “I’m giving up….. for lent”. For many this act of abstinence will normally involve setting aside something which we really enjoy for the allotted time. Common “vice’s” are chocolate, take-away’s, alcohol, TV, even social media. And with great enthusiasm people begin this time of setting aside, but it doesn’t tend to last. What began with zeal tends to tail off after some time (usually 2 days) and what started as a cheeky square of chocolate turns into a massacre of wrappers lying across the table. Continue reading
It’s been an interesting year, has it not? Many things have changed within our society at large and across the ever globalized network of nations which we live amongst. We have witnessed the atrocities of IS in the Middle East, executing people at will and eradicating priceless historical sites and artifacts. We have also seen key “leaders” in churches proactively denying the cross of Jesus and his atonement as the centre point of the biblical gospel. But its not all bad, doom and gloom. We have also seen times of celebration and rejoicing. The 150th anniversary of OMF and its work to tell others about Jesus in East Asia was very special. There was also the return of Star Wars to the big screen causing my inner child great excitement as the force was awakened once again. Another note of great joy for me has been the return to form of BVB 09; Dortmund once again proving to be a force in the Bundesliga after a poor run last season.
Here is my contribution and the things which have influenced me most during the last 12 months; this is my 2015. Continue reading
Christmas, it is a season of contrasts. On the one hand commercial Christmas is crazy busy for many of us. We are running around trying to prepare everything for everyone and never seem to have enough time to get it done. But on the other hand it can be a time of great sadness and loneliness for others. Our friends and family are no longer present, our job is not as stable as it once seemed, indeed the sounds and sights of the season sometimes repel us. Continue reading
Each morning as the alarm sounds at 6.30 it does not to fill me with joy. I don’t know about you but it tends to bring out an uncontrollable desire within me to dive under the covers for at least another 30 seconds (which turns into 10 minutes). Yet the inevitability is that I need to get up and get on with the tasks of the day. And I’m guessing that you need to do this too. So how is it possible to experience joy in the everyday? Continue reading
Why is the human heart so determined to grab hold of things which we have no right to? A simple look around our world will prove this point to be true. Having been to see the most recent cinematic production of Macbeth it is clear to see that Shakespeare understood this. The fatally flawed warrior who would be king is an excellent insight into the huge contradiction which runs directly through every person. Continue reading
Most Christians get very scared of one particular word. It’s the E word. It comes with a lot of baggage and is easily misunderstood. Oh no, it means that I need to talk to people that i don’t know. Worse still, I might have to speak with friends or family; they’ll think I’m crazy. Continue reading