OMF June 2018: First & Last

“The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life” (Rev 2:8)

If we are honest, we don’t really understand what this means. Why do I say that? Well it is not to do with our cognitive abilities, because it is quite straight forward in that regard. No, the issue is our context, our horizons. Most of us reading this will be from a predominantly western background and in reality don’t have much experience of suffering for the gospel, if any.   Continue reading

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First Love: OMF May 2018

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance…Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love” (Revelation 2:2,4)

 

Do you not love it when people tell you that you have done a good job? All of that hard work, all of that effort and now people can see the result and they praise you for it. You may be too modest to admit to this, but it is something we all like and it is not something which is totally wrong. As Jesus speaks to his people across Asia, he wants them to know that it pleases him to see their growth as disciples. Continue reading

An invitation to stop

Over the next few weeks for many of us things will become very busy, which tends to mean we don’t have time to stop. If that is true, then it will not be easy finding space to think either. Yet, this is precisely what I want to invite you to do over this Christmas season because there is a lot to think about. You see, unlike the mad rush and the media frenzy to get us to spend more money, the good news of the Lord Jesus and the reason why he has come is something which lasts long after the dinner is eaten, the gifts forgotten and the tree is down. Continue reading

A Greater Motive: August 2017

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3) 

Last month we looked at reminding ourselves of our purpose in an ever changing world, focusing on making much of Jesus and pointing others to him. I’m sure that neither of these things we would disagree with. That being said, sometimes the way these truths are communicated can cause hindrance to those who are watching the believer’s life or listening to the believer’s words. Clearly this is something which Paul understood. 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

Lent: Giving up or Gaining all?

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

Off the Shelf: 2015 Review

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