Monday, October 23, 2006

Aslan speaks...

'You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,' said Aslan. 'And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth.'

- from Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Granny Insightful

One day, even those of my generation (who are just starting to see the summit of the hill emerging through the mists of youth) will be old. One day we'll be gone.

And then it will be up to the generation we have discipled to do the business, to maintain the day. And in their turn, they too will age and pass on the torch. Untill the Lord comes. Here's a little picture to provide a glimpse of that future generation!..

Yes, it's Granny 'Insightful' - destined to be a torch-bearer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Downwards promotion

Last night I was commissioned to a new level of leadership in the church. Twenty-five senior leaders gathered round me, hands were laid on me, prophetic words were spoken. It was awesome and I felt humbled and privileged and scared and full of faith. It brought to mind the commissioning of Timothy that Paul mentions in the New Testament:

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. (1 Timothy 4:14)

This means more mopping (see the blog title and post on August 1st this year). Leadership in the Church of Jesus is about serving; about relinquishing rights not accruing them. Jesus made this clear: He Himself came to ‘serve and to give His life as a ransom for many’ - and ‘no servant is above his master’.

Last night, one apostolic leader spoke of me being like an elastic band – to be stretched! But the result of this stretching and the necessary tension this would produce in me would be that people were bound together: joined, gathered, tied, connected.

In fact, the tone of the whole evening had been along such lines, with prophetic teaching about how the pressures and strains upon our crackpot-frail humanity reveal the glory of God. In our weaknesses we are strong. In our struggles, it becomes clear to all that our strength comes from God and not from us.

I want to be a faithful servant. I want to run with perseverance the race that has been marked out for me. I want to fight the good fight of faith and hear my Master say one day, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’.

Pray for me.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Caption competition #2

Those who know these two fine men may find this easier... but then, possibily it will be easier if you don't...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Has he finally lost it?

I'm going to a University tonight. And I'm taking an enormous teddy bear with me. Intriguing, eh?..

Friday, October 06, 2006

Prayer and prayerlessness

This morning I arrived ten minutes late for our Friday morning prayer time (my alarm went off ten minutes later than I set it for, for some bizarre reason – no, honest, it really did!)

Every Friday morning at seven, a few of us aim to get together and pray: for our disciples, for each other and for – whatever seems good. Sometimes, not many of us make it (sometimes it’s just one faithful sister, bless her soul).

Not wanting to get over-heavy about this, but perhaps this is a symptom of what someone described (rather over-heavily?) on the Jesus Army forum today as “the sin of prayerlessness”. Perhaps such a phrase is overdoing it, but the comment on the forum was well worth reading: thought-provoking stuff. (Check it out.)

I particularly liked this quote:

“Prayer occurs when you depend on God. Prayerlessness occurs when you depend on yourself.”

I know that I ought to spend more time in “deliberate” prayer. But as I've grown as a Christian and taken on increasing pastoral responsibility for others, I've found something new and rather exciting has happened in my prayer life. You could call it – “accidental” prayer. That is, as I carry people on my heart, in my mind and thoughts and love - they pop up all the time and find myself praying for them. Very often it's just a very brief, "arrow" prayer shot at God; sometimes it grows into something more and I have to go off and pace up and down and pray, or find someone to pray with.

But I realise that they come from something that's going on in my spirit at a deeper level. I'm carrying these people. They're there all the time. And occasionally they erupt, often silently or in a whispered prayer.

I think this is something approaching what the apostle meant by "unceasing prayer". This doesn't undo the call to “deliberate” prayer for certain set times and the call to pray together, agreeing in faith and so on. But it undergirds the whole thing and makes prayer a state of being rather than something to be done.

Let's keep talking about prayer! And let's keep praying.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Making disciplers [sic]

We’ve been hearing the challenge to ‘make disciplers’ recently. That is, to look ahead, to see the next wave of people coming to us who need to be shown the ropes in so many ways, and to expect our present newer disciples to be playing their part in that.

As one of our leaders pointed out last night: yes, Jesus’ commission was to ‘make disciples’ – but who did He address this command to? Those who He has already made disciples of Himself. In other words, following the example of Jesus, we ought to make disciples who we can then teach to be disciplers of others.

(Oh, and by the way, hope you like the ‘sic’ in the title. I didn’t want anyone to think the ‘r’ was just a typo and thus miss the entire point of the post. There are various theories about what exactly ‘sic’ means: sometimes it is thought to be an abbreviation of ‘spelling is correct’, ‘same in copy‘, ‘spelled incorrectly’, ‘spelling incompetent’, ‘said in context’, ‘stupid in context’, ‘stand incorrect’, or ‘spelling intentionally changed’. But I’m afraid the correct meaning is also the most boring – ‘sic’ is Latin for ‘just so’. So – we’re going to make disciplers – yes, that’s right: disciplers - just so.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Please yourself?

People are all different aren’t they? It’s one of the things that make living in community so fascinating, unpredictable, mind-bogglingly difficult, and wonderful.

Take last night.

We had a great time, on the whole. Some loved the strawberries... but others, I sensed, were worried about gluttonous tendencies surfacing in the household. Some loved it when we spoke words of encouragement to each other... but others hid their faces and found it all a bit much. Some loved the film about Earth... others found it all a bit over their head.

It has been said: ‘You can please some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.’

I’m glad that last night all of the people were pleased... some of the time.

And as we all grow towards maturity, we will find that our preoccupation is not whether or not we are pleased – but whether or not our brother is. That is love.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Tonight is our ‘House Family’ night. Those who live at White Stone get together for an evening of – well... being together.

The point is that, even though we live in community together, quality time can be eclipsed by the never-ending roundelay of busyness. So every so often, we carve out an evening to redress the balance; have a long, drawn-out, unrushed meal together; enjoy one another; ‘be’.

Last time, we gave interesting and meaningful present to each other (see July 11).

Tonight, after dinner, we’re going to settle back in our armchairs and watch a film called ‘The Privileged Planet’. It’s a documentary (with some seriously breathtaking space photography) about Earth: in particular, some of the astonishing, little-known ways in which it is precisely attuned to support life such as homo sapiens. Tiny changes in Earth’s distance from the Sun, or position in the Milky Way, or size of moon, and so on (and on and on) would make Earth an uninhabitable desert or a frozen rock.

Bravo God, I say. (The film doesn’t go quite that far, though God is mentioned towards the end.)

Should be inspiring. And relaxing. And after that, there’s that other great communal act of togetherness – the washing-up.