Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I love this advert for a Christianity Explored Course

Man's Anger

Genesis 4:6-7
Ephesians 4:26  'Christians are often very good on the first part of the command but a trifle weak on the second half.' (p38) 
James 1:19-20 
Perhaps then it is okay to be angry if:  
1. We do not sin 
2. We don't go to sleep with it  
3. it is anger from God and not man's anger 
4. it achieves righteousness  
5. it comes slowly  
Do you have the feeling that if these qualification are met, the amount of anger would be cut drastically?  (p38) 
Colossians 3:8 
Galatians 5:20 
Proverbs 29:22
Proverbs 14:29 

We need to see where anger comes from. Luke 6:45. 
Psalm 139:23-24
1 John 1:7-9
Philippians 4:8 
Romans 12:2 
Jude 24 

Most anger is not generated in protection of other people. And that tells us something. 

Notes & Quotes from Ch 3  of How to Be Free from Bitterness: And Other Essays on Christian Relationships by Jim Wilson

Monday, 30 May 2011

Forgiving Others

Matthew 18:35

When we say 'There is nothing to forgive' it sounds very gracious, but really it is a way we refuse to forgive. It is a dodge. Most of the time it is anyway. 
Other times we say 'OK, you are forgiven' or 'I forgive you' but we say it because we have to NOT because that is what our heart is saying. 
God knows when you have forgiven your brother from your heart. We cannot hide from the Lord when we sin in this way. (p25) 
Matthew 18:21-22. 
Anytime someone counts the number of times he has extended forgiveness, then there is no true forgiveness. (p26)
Colossians 3:13 
Matthew 6:12; 6:14. 
If I do not forgive I have good reason to doubt my salvation (p28)
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Some of you have heard a statement like this within marriage. The husband or the wife may say, ' You always do this, and you never do that.' What does this mean? Someone is keeping score. (p30)
in a sense, forgiveness is unilateral. In one sense, Jesus Christ forgave us all before we repented. It did not become active until we received it. But God was not up in heaven holding a grudge until we got around to repenting. He is not up there bitter until we repent. He has forgiveness in His heart before we appropriate it.  
When a Christian has forgiveness from the heart, he is concerned about the person who did the sinning against him. he is not concerned about himself. (p31)
We would all like to think that we are the good guy and that the other person has the problem. It might not be that. Just assume you are the one that has the problem of lack of forgiveness.
If a Christian has forgiveness in his heart, he will be rejoicing regardless of how wrong the other person was, or how greatly the other person sinned against him. (p32) 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

How to be free from bitterness

Guilt is what we feel when we sin, and bitterness is what we feel when others sin against us.
Bitterness does not depend on how great the evil is, it depends on how close the other person is to me. (p9) 
You may think that you have the right to be bitter. But the Bible does not grant anyone the right to be bitter. Ephesians 4:31-5:2. Hebrews 12:15. (p10)
Bitterness accumulates.  
Bitterness remembers details. (p12)  
Bitterness is just resentment that has been held onto. It has become rancid and rotten. It is kept in and it gets worse. 
The bitter person must first recognize that he is bitter, and secondly, that it is a gross evil. Again, the reason people do not deal with this sin is that they think it is the other person's sin. The devil says, 'Well, when he quits lying, or he quits doing this or that, or when he says he's sorry .... But suppose he does not quit? ... Are you going to be in bitterness all your life because someone else insists on being in sin? 
bitterness does not forgive
you get rid of bitterness unilaterally. It does not matter what the other person does. (p14) 
When somebody else says he is sorry, it does not get rid of our bitterness. The only thing that gets rid of bitterness is confession before God because of the Lord Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. This is the only solution. (p15)  
We must not keep it and we must not share it with others. There is only one thing to do and that is to confess it as a great and evil sin. We must be as persistent in the confession as necessary. (p16) 
I believe that this sin is a major hindrance to revival in this country. When Christians start confessing their sins, they will be able to forgive the sins of others. (p18) 

Quotes from Ch1 of How to Be Free from Bitterness: And Other Essays on Christian Relationships by Jim Wilson

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Kidding ourselves

Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself of all his other vices by a conviction that 'his heart's in the right place' and 'he wouldn't hurt a fly', though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature.We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.  (p49)

The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Ga Ga Get it

If you are like me, you have been recently confronted there [iTunes] with an image of Lady Gaga, striking quite a pose, being as outlandish as she can be. But the most impressive thing about this to me is the sheer finitude of that outlandishness. I mean, you can only put so much eye make-up on, even if you use a spatula, and then, there you are, the world's most decadent and voluptuous raccoon. 
To change the metaphor, you pick up a wet dishrag, soaked through with your outlandishness, and you twist it and twist it, and when you are done -- finite creature! -- you only have enough outlandishness to fill a medium-sized saucepan. 
Try something else! Faster, faster! I know, a meat dress! Wait, wait . . . comb your hair funny! 
You know what this kind of outrĂ© rebellion is? It is craning your neck back as far as it can go in order to express your contempt for the heavens by spitting at the nearest crab nebula. Let me know how it goes.
 An example of how to make and nail your point. And then some. 

why most sins should be legal

What Stephen Hawking doesn’t understand about heaven

What Stephen Hawking doesn’t understand about heaven
by NT Wright

HT: TheResurgence

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Why Churches do too much

Nothing precedes purpose. The starting point for every church should be the question, “Why do we exist?” Until you know what your church exists for, you have no foundation, no motivation, and no direction for ministry. If you are helping a new church get started, your first task is to define your purpose. It’s far easier to set the right foundation at the start of a new church than it is to reset it after a church has existed for years. 
However if you serve in an existing church that has plateaued, is declining, or is simply discouraged, your most important task is to redefine your purpose. Forget everything else until you have established it in the minds of your members. Recapture a clear vision of what God wants to do in and through your church family. Absolutely nothing will revitalize a discouraged church faster than rediscovering its purpose. 
Unless the driving force behind a church is biblical, the health and growth of the church will never be what God intended. Strong churches are not built on programs, personalities, or gimmicks. They are built on the eternal purposes of God.
These are quotes from Neil Powell's notes on Ch 4 of Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Church. They make a lot of sense, so I am posting them and this link to encourage me to come back to them! 

Monday, 23 May 2011

Andersons in Afghanistan

Tim & Lynn are blogging! At the moment from Afghanistan of all places. 
You can follow them here (Tim with some 'sabbatical thoughts' on Isaiah) and here (Lynn at the wonderfully named: Whippet Wonders!). 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

24hr Readathon

Today Jennie Dow is helping with a 24 hr Bible Readathon in Tunbridge Wells (BBC Report here!) in support of Crossteach. They are more than half way already! You can find out more at the blog.

God's Will for My Life Is ...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Moments of Magic

KJV Quiz

Charlie Scrine presents a mini-documentary about the history of the King James Version of the Bible, which celebrates its 400th Anniversary in 2011.

The video has 5 quiz questions about the KJV:
Was the King James Version the first translation into English? (1:08)
Was the King James Version King James' idea? (3:00) 
Who was the King James Version against? (5:30)
Was the King James Version a fresh translation? (7:40)
Was the King James Version the most popular Bible of its time? (10:48)