Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I love you to God and back

One day at a time, one prayer at a time, a busy working mother and playful six-year-old daughter transformed their bedtime prayers. Like a window into their relationship their prayers and reflections let us witness the growth, enjoy the childlikeness, and learn from their winsome faith. Discover how you and your child can find connection, humour, and a deeper understanding of God in the quiet last few minutes of each day.

I loved the title, and the concept is quite interesting as well. A mother starts recording her daughters nightly prayers, and we are invited to watch as both of their faiths grow before our eyes.

And it works, for a while.  I found the first few chapters interesting, maybe as much as half the book.  There is a good mix of child-like innocence, lessons learned by Mother, and spiritual insight.

However, it gets a bit repetitive.  I guess the best way to explain it is that only the first 20 photos of somebody’s new-born baby are cute.  After a while you want to see something fresh.  Despite the blurb, I did not see a great deal of development from cover to cover.

However I enjoyed it, and most of you probably will as well.  Just don’t expect it to be profound or life-changing.

I received and reviewed a free copy from Thomas Nelson.  Learn more about it here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Love & Respect Experience

To build this couples devotional, Eggerichs has taken the top concerns that surfaced in a survey of thousands of couples and has developed 52 devotionals around the three cycles that are at the heart of Love and Respect:

I received this book as a free review copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing as part of their Booksneeze programme in exchange for an honest review.

The book is sold as A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love. The implication here, and throughout the book, is that men are selfish creatures with short attention spans who need to be given short sentences to make them interested in reading. Sorry, but that was how I read it.

What did I like about the book?

  • It is visibly pleasing. It is a soft-cover edition with a genuine imitation leather cover that makes it pleasing to look at, and a stylish addition to my bookshelf. It looks great lying next to my bed.
  • A lot of the philosophy resonated with me and my understanding of male/female dynamics. The essential point that men seek respect and women seek love is a true one I think, and is bourn out in Ephesians 5, and real life.
  • It encourages couples to find their own method of doing bible study and devotion, rather than feeling guilty that they don’t do it a certain way. There are 52 chapters, and we are told to do them in any order. We are also told that it is okay to read them separately and discuss them together later.

Where did I have a problem?

  • It is theologically light. Most of the content is presented as vague pop-psychology and theories with bible verses stretched to “support” the idea.
  • It portrays men and women as being very different, almost irredeemably different, and that we will never fully understand each other.
  • It refers far too much to the authors earlier works, and conferences, and teaching series, and publishes theories. I found it hard to read in the absence of having read his previous works, and he talks about theories and ideas as if we have all read them before and attended a course.

My general conclusion?

This book may work for some people, but I found it a little light on substance and patronising. If you are struggling with traditional devotionals, and want to try something new, maybe it will work for you. For myself, I plan to keep looking for something a little better.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


You can praise God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection. Don't compromise. Compromise is a language of the devil. Run in God's name and let the world stand back and in wonder. 

J.D LiddellChariots of Fire

I do not know whether Eric Liddell’s father ever actually said this to him, but I love this quote from Chariots of Fire almost as much as I love the one I have mentioned a few times before…

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. – Eric LIddell

Watching the Olympic Games this week, I wonder how many of the athletes would have the courage of their convictions to refuse to run in their best event because it conflicts with their religious beliefs.  The modern attitude is “victory at any cost.”

We all run a race every day.  I wonder how often we feel the pressure to compromise, especially in areas where “it doesn’t really matter.”

And how often we forget who it is we are running for.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Fruit : Self Control


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

“I want it all, and I want it now.” 
(I want it all –Queen)

What time do you get up in the morning?  I get up about five minutes before I have to.  Maybe five minutes after if the weather is bad.
Some people get up an hour early so they can go running, or get to the gym before work.  That takes dedication.
Yet most of us would have difficulty getting up half an hour earlier to spend 30 minutes more in prayer. 

Why?  Priorities I guess.  For some of us our bodily health is more important than our spiritual health.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Lack of Self Control leads to excesses in areas that would otherwise be benign: Anger, Drinking, Ambition, Lust, Spending.

Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything-1 Corinthians 6:12

We need control to show love when we want to show hate.
We need control to be patient when we are not.
We need control to be kind when we are not feeling like it.

Self Control, like running or working out at the gym, takes practice.
We need to practise it every day to make it “muscle memory.”

  • By choosing to read the Word, and follow it.
  • By putting off what is wrong (run from temptation)
  • By putting on what is right (choose to walk in the Spirit)
  • By asking for help, all the time (Pray for strength and wisdom)

How do you build your Self Control? What area do you find it hardest to be controlled?

This has been the last Fruit of the Spirit message.  Feel free to browse over the past ones, and leave a comment.  If you answer on your own blog, please leave a link below.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fruit : Gentleness


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

We continue our series by examining Gentleness.

The word that we read as “gentleness” is also rendered as “meekness” on occasion.  I think this is a bit of a problem, because it sometimes makes us think of weakness.

Meekness/Gentleness however is characterised by power, under perfect control.

Think for a minute about a wild and dangerous horse, which is tamed.  It is still powerful, but now it has learned to use its power under control and without hurting anyone.  (The technical term for taming a horse is actually “gentling” I believe.)

Gentleness as a Fruit of the Spirit means that we are controlled by God’s Spirit, and lead in the way of love and kindness.  It does not mean we need to be weak, or quiet.  It means we need to be controlled, and not hurt others. 

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:24-26

In this verse, we see that the follower does not ignore or accept the sin, but he does not lash out or condemn the sinner either.  He is gentle in his instruction, and loving in bringing the opponent back to God.

315322_325321097559404_114950662_nJesus was gentle.  He was loving to the woman caught in adultery, and the woman at the well.  In both cases he told them what they needed to do, and taught them the error of their ways.  However he did not punish them or lose his temper with them.  He was controlled.

He was also controlled when he turned over the tables in the temple, and when he spoke very harshly against the Pharisees, and condemned them for their hypocrisy.  He was controlled in his anger, and his hatred for sin.  He was gentle with the sinner.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” - Isaiah 40:11

God is infinitely gentle in his love and dealings with us, and we need to learn to take on that gentleness, and not condemn or judge those around us.  We are not to be doormats, but use the power and authority we have been given in a loving and gentle way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Am I still lost?

I hear rumours that they will be making a sequel to Finding Nemo, which is due to be released in 2016.

I do not know how I feel about that.

On the one fin, Finding Nemo is one of the most awesome films of all time. 

On the other fin, sequels (almost) never do justice to the original, and often cheapen the franchise and characters. 

I wonder how well it will do though.  The original was released in 2003.  Which means that children who were 8 when it came out, will be 20 now. And 25 year olds who saw it and loved it will be 38.

So will the target market be people who saw it the first time, and are now in their 20’s and 30’s?  Or will they be catering to a whole new generation?  An interesting question indeed.

Do you like sequels?  Or do you think things should just be left alone?

Monday, July 16, 2012

How I Preach?


(Thanks to Alex Baker at Cake or Death for this cartoon)

I have been preaching for about three years now, and it still scares me.  I think they day it stops scaring me is the day I stop doing it, because that means I am not taking it seriously enough. 

What I want to talk about today is not three things that make me a great preacher, or three things that make my sermons great.  I want to talk about three things I ask myself while writing each sermon.

These three questions are what I use to determine if I am preaching the right sermon, and whether I should even be preaching at all.

1.What type of message is it?

There are different types of sermons.  Some are focused on a theme, and use scriptures to back them up.  Some start with a Bible Reading, and just look at what it means. Some tell a story from personal experience, and talk about my faith journey. 
If I am doing a textual analysis, then I spend more time on the history and context of the book, the chapter, and the people involved. 
If I am preaching on a theme, then I try to move quicker through the reading itself. 
If I am talking from personal experience… then I really examine it to decide whether it is a sermon, or simply a re-hash of my testimony.

Not all sermons have three points, and start with the same letters.  Some are just focused on helping us to understand what a verse or chapter means.  The earliest sermons started when the Religious Leader would sit down after reading a scroll, and explain what it meant.

Before I present a sermon, I always ask myself, “What is this supposed to be, and why should people listen to it?” This helps to overcome the mistake of making it something it is not.

2.  Who am I talking to?

I do not mean what is the demographic of my congregation, or their spiritual awareness level, or anything like that.  I always ask myself: Is this message for me as well, or just for them?

I never preach a message I do not need to preach to myself first. 
If it sounds too much like it is for the benefit of those around me, and not for me, then I ask myself, “Why am I preaching this?”

I hears preaching referred to once as “One beggar telling another beggar where he can find a feast,” and I always liked that.  I think the temptation for a great many of us is to stand up and think that we have something to share, or something worth hearing, and that temptation leads us to preach down at people. 

I read my sermons over and over, and look for tell-tale signs like saying “You need to” instead of “I think we need to” or saying “People do this” instead of saying  “I find that I do this, and maybe you do to.

If, at the end, I cannot answer the question “How will I apply this to my life today?” then I throw it all away and try something different.

3. How many Sermons am I preaching?

This might sound obvious, but it is amazing how many times I have gone back over what I have written, and realised that I am actually preaching three sermons.

Just this week I preached from the first book of Joshua, and spent some great time digging deep into the word.  I discovered amazing parallels between the Book of Joshua and the Book of Acts, I developed interesting (to me) connections between the person of Joshua and Jesus, I saw interesting lessons in the story of how Joshua came to be the person he was, I saw useful lessons in bravery, and how to use our Bibles, and how to follow God’s commands, and….

..and once I had written it all, the introduction was longer than the sermon itself, and the concluding points were so full of meat that I was forced to cut 75% of my sermon out so that I could focus on just these points.  I even had to cut down the points, because each one was so packed with information, that it was a sermon in itself. 

It was painful.  What I had was a sermon that would keep me interested for about 3 hours.  However, even though my sermons are always preached to myself first, I need to realise that other people are listening in.  People who would lose interest after the third or fourth “”.. and this is interesting because, in the original Hebrew…” or “… and if you go back to the older prophecy, you will see that…”.

I had to stick to three points, support them with scripture, make them personal, and then shut up!


These three questions have helped me in every sermon I ever preached, and every Bible Study I ever wrote or presented, and every article or blog post or comment I have ever made.

I hope there is something useful for you as well. 

But you know how much I love talking to myself.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Fruit–Faithfulness

ffthumbBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)



What does faithfulness mean? I think it speaks of honesty, commitment, and doing the right thing in the face of the easy way out.

We are told in Scriptures that God is faithful:

  • Faithful to forgive the repentant (1 John 1:8-10)
  • Faithful to help us overcome temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • Faithful in His presence (Hebrews 13:5)
  • Faithful in understanding our weakness (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Our response needs to be to build our own faithfulness:

  • We need to be faithful with our talents and wealth and time. (Matthew 25:21)
  • We need to be faithful in our beliefs, even unto death. (Revelation 2:10b)
  • We need to be faithful in our religious attendance.    (Hebrews 10:25)
  • We need to be faithful in our ministry.
  • We need to be faithful in our dealings with others.


from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” Luke 12:48

“With great power, comes great responsibility”



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If I have to explain this to you…


If I have to explain this to you, then I am not sure we can still be friends. 

Hoo Ha Ha!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How far for some Fruit?

I know that this Christianity thing is about Love, Peace and Patience

… but can I get some sort of exemption for tele-sales people?

Is it wrong to harass them and make fun of them?  Or do I have to be unfailingly polite, even when they are annoying?

Because if it is, I am not sure that I want to be right.

Just saying.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Science is superstition

Yeah, that ought to start some discussion. 
Let the flame fest begin.


Let me tell you why I say this.

In the news recently, it was announced that the Large Hadron Collider had finally succeeded in smashing enough particles together to discover traces of what could be a Higgs Boson. 

Since this was one of the reasons why the LHC was built in the first place, I had a number of reactions.

    1. Finally, this is very exciting.
    2. I love science.
    3. I wonder how wrong the media will get it when they report this event.
    4. Can we now sell the LHC for scrap, and end World Hunger and Poverty with one single cheque?

To be clear, the Higgs Boson is a small particle (I am simplifying here) which is believed to be responsible for matter having mass.  It was first postulated (I believe) by Peter Higgs in 1964.  His theory was that it must exist, because that was the only way to explain why matter has mass. 

In essence, he observed that there was NO WAY to explain the behaviour of sub-atomic particles without assuming that an invisible “thing” existed that would cause this to happen.  Nobody had ever seen it, nobody knew what it looked like, nobody could even explain how it came to exist.  Only that it must exist, otherwise everything they believed would be wrong.  They judged its existence by the behaviour of matter around it.

That sounds a lot like superstition to me.  Is that any less logical than believing in God, even though we have never seen him, but we have seen his works and felt his presence?

Or take the example of the Graviton.  A Graviton is a sub-atomic particle in all matter that is responsible for gravity.

How do we know it exists?  Because otherwise we have no explanation for gravity.   We can’t explain the gravitational force with the sub-atomics we already know about, so we assume there must exist a mythical particle called “Graviton.”

We know that all matter is governed by four forces:

  • We can explain the Electromagnetic Force with Photons.
  • We can explain the Strong Force with Gluons.
  • We can explain the Weak Force with W & Z bosons.
  • We cannot explain the Gravitational Force… but we know there must exist a solution, so we make up a Graviton.

Science tells us there exist things we can neither see, nor explain, and we just have to have faith until we understand them better. 

So does Religion.  We just get laughed at when WE say it.  

I have seen the evidence of God every day of my life, and felt His presence.  I have all the proof I need.

I will leave you with a quote from the great Dogbert.

science is based on the irrational belief that because we cannot perceive reality all at once, things called "time" and "cause and effect" exist.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Fruit–Goodness

ffthumbBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

We continued our Fruit of the Spirit series with Goodness.

What do you think is meant by Goodness?

Think about “good coffee “or “a good book” or “a good nap.”
Why do we call it good?

I think it means… it did what it was supposed to do.

If we look at Genesis 1, we see the same line over and over, 
“…. And God looked at what he had created, and it was good.”

I think goodness for us is about being the person that God wants us to be, and made us to be. It is about doing what we are supposed to do, and being who we are supposed to be.

Who or what did God create us to be?

  • · We were created for love
  • · We were created for kindness
  • · We were destined for salvation
  • · We were created to become like Him
  • · We were created to seek a relationship with him.

Sometimes Goodness seems a lot like Kindness.  However there are differences:

  • Kindness is about helping, goodness is about doing the right thing.
  • Kindness gives a man bread, goodness does something about hunger.
  • Kindness reaches out a hand, goodness reaches out a heart.

Goodness is measured by how well we do what God calls us to do, and being who he wants us to be.  It grows not from being perfect, or never sinning, but from being a person who seeks God’s way every day.

Goodness is Godness. We become Good as we become more like God.

What do you think Goodness means?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Fruit–Kindness

ffthumbBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Our series on Fruit of the Spirit continues today with Kindness.

What does kindness mean?  We tend to think of it as being a very weak word I think.  Love is strong.  Faith is strong.  Kindness… it sounds kind of wishy-washy.  Or is that just me?

The word kindness is often translated from the word Chesed, also translated as loving kindness, mercy, compassion etc.  It is an action of Strong Goodwill, not just a vague feeling.

If love is faith, then kindness is action.
Wishing someone well is love, doing something about their needs is kindness.
Loving someone in our hearts needs kindness with our hands/mouth/etc.

How do we show/grow kindness?

Practice makes perfect.

If you see a man fall into a hole, you don’t need to have the gift of helps to be or service to him, or the gift of being a great prayer warrior to pray for him, or the gift of evangelism to call others to come and help him.

You just need to be kind, and throw him a rope. Just reach out, and help him where he stands.

Kindness is how we re-act to the world, and grows out of love.

It is about showing our love to others, deserving or not. But in our own strength we would burn out. We need to be empowered, by the Spirit, for works of kindness.

What do you think kindness means?  How is it a Fruit of the Spirit?


Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Fruit–Patience


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Patience my young Padawan (Star Wars)

I think that with the exception of Love, this might be the scariest area to be grown in. God grows love by putting us with unlovely people. And he grows patience by putting us in situations where we are tempted to not be patient.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
(James 1:2-3)

Temptation often starts when we are drawn to something (desire) and ends when we give in to that desire (action). The purpose of patience is learning not to give into that desire, or to seek its fulfilment elsewhere.

For years I desired a suitable marriage partner, which is a noble desire. However the temptation was to look for that person in the wrong place, or to accept someone who was less suited for me. I had to have patience, and faith, that God had the perfect person planned for me. And he did. I could never have found a more perfect wife than the one I have if I had tried for 100 years. I was patient, and God rewarded that patience.

Of course God also throws bad drivers and annoying clients in my path daily in an effort to teach me about patience in those areas, and I am still learning.

Patience grows in our lives as we let go of trying to find our own solutions to problems, and seek God’s solutions. This is why it is linked to faith, because if we can’t accept that there is a solution, we might be tempted to go our own way.

What do you think patience means?  Join me in the discussion about patience, and the other Spiritual Fruit.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Fruit–Peace


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

We continue our weekly look at the Fruit of the Spirit with Peace.

Why is Peace so important as a Fruit of the Spirit?

I believe Peace is connected to faith.  Thanks to the Amplified Bible, we have the following interpretation of John 14:27..

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

We aren’t told to try not to be afraid, or that fear will not find us.  We are told NOT to be afraid.  We are told, I believe, to have faith.
Faith that God is in control.
Faith that Jesus is with us.
Faith that Holy Spirit is within us.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)

Peace is what guards our hearts and minds from fear, because it is rooted in Faith.  It surpasses all understanding, because it is of the Spirit, not our own nature.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A loss of meaning


…and this is why we nobody takes Goldfish seriously.  They are like the blondes of the fish community.

Plus they cheat at cards.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Fruit : Joy

ffthumbBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

We continue our Friday Fruit series today with… joy.

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice.”(Philippians 4:4)

Joy is about faith, and finding God in all circumstances.  So that our joy and attitude can be governed not by what is happening to us, but by the fact the God is with us in these happenings.

How do we develop Joy as a Spiritual Fruit?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

This is not just an instruction to be joyful, but an indication of how joy can be achieved. 

We can be joyful by:

  • Praying continually
  • Giving thanks in all circumstances.  (Not FOR the circumstance, but giving thanks DESPITE the circumstance)

If we are faced with circumstances where our first response is not joy, then our first response needs to be to bring it to the Lord (in prayer).  Then we need to give thanks for God’s provision, and the fact that He will be with us. 

If we can learn to always bring everything to God, and look for the opportunities for thanksgiving, then we will learn to find joy, even in the worst circumstance.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Fruit : Love

ffthumbBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

…But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13b)

The first of the Fruit of the Spirit attributes that we will be examining will be love.  We see from 1 Corinthians 13:13 (above) that love is mentioned as being quite a big deal.  But why?

I think because love is who God is.  Not just what he does, but who He is

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:8)

Our very existence comes because God loved us.  He loved us enough to create us, He loved us enough to save us, He loves us enough to give us His Spirit.  Our response has to be to show love.  To God and to men. 

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10

Love is… what makes us who we are.
Love is… how we show who we are.
Love is… God shining out from us.
Love is… what we do when we are not strong enough to do anything else.

So how do we show love for others, and develop this Spiritual Fruit? As an exercise, I want to invite you to read 1 Corinthians 13, and replace the word Love with your own name in the second half.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Sharkbait is patient;
Sharkbait is kind;
SHarkbait does not envy;
Sharkbait does not boast;
Sharkbait is not proud;
Sharkbait is not rude;
Sharkbait is not self-seeking;
Sharkbait is not easily angered;
Sharkbait keeps no record of wrongs;
Sharkbait does not delight in evil;
Sharkbait rejoices with the truth;
Sharkbait always protects;
Sharkbait always trusts;
Sharkbait always hopes;
Sharkbait always perseveres.

(So, did you score as badly as I did?)

If we love, then the other qualities will come naturally.
If we focus on the other qualities, then love will follow naturally.

  • When we are kind, we show love.
  • When we are patient, we show love.
  • When we show goodness, we show love.
  • When we are gentle, we show love.
  • If we love, then we will be kind, patient, good, etc.

What do you think love is?  And how do we grow it in our lives?
Answer here, or on your own blog, and leave a link below so we can come visit you.  To get the Friday Fruit button, and to see a full list of posts, click here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fruit : Spiritual Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)


To my mind, the Fruit of the Spirit is about trying to take on the attributes and characters of GOD.  We have all heard the expressions “The love of God” or “The peace of God…”etc.  These are all fruit of His Spirit, that we can manifest in our own lives in order to become more like him.

So as we try to follow the Holy Spirit, and seek the power and strength of the Spirit, we will see these things come to fruition in our own lives. 

I sort of think that we really have no idea what we are getting ourselves in for when we ask Jesus into our lives.  We receive salvation, but the process of sanctification (becoming pure, and Christ-like) takes longer. 

For this, we need to start developing Spiritual Fruit.

More about these Fruit next week.

What do you think Spiritual Fruit means?

Answer here, or on your own blog, and leave a link below so we can come visit you.

(click here for a full list of Friday Fruit posts on my blog)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Real Marriage–Mark and Grace Driscoll

_225_350_Book_553_coverIn Real Marriage, Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, share how they have struggled and how they have found healing through the power of the only reliable source: the Bible. They believe friendship is fundamental to marriage but not easy to maintain. So they offer practical advice on how to make your spouse your best friend – and keep it that way.


I reviewed this book over at my other blog, but I also received a DVD companion series to review, which I am doing here. 

The DVD series takes the 11 chapters of the book, and turns them into a very interesting 11 week course.  I feel that it worked very well together with the book.

After reading each chapter of the book, there is a short (10 minute) DVD film to watch in which Mark and Grace talk about that weeks topic.  Then there are discussion questions for group-time, so the material can be looked at in a small group.
Then there is a series of questions for both the wife and the husband to answer separately as homework, and another series of questions to discuss together as a couple.

I liked the fact that there were very practical ways to engage with the book, and also the group-time/private-time/couple-time aspect.  I also liked that each week had ideas for a date night, including such ideas as “Invite a married couple over for dinner, and ask them questions about marriage.” Very practical and fun.

I liked that the weekly sessions were done in a way that there are activities and homework for singles as well, so engaged and non-married persons can learn from this teaching. 

What I did find was this….

This DVD series is NOT a replacement for the book.  The DVD covers about 5-10% of the material covered in the book, and in a lot less depth.  It is not a replacement, but rather a 10 minute discussion of what you have learned to start you talking about it in groups.  Do NOT buy this DVD series without buying the book as well. 

(NB, there is no copy of the book in the box-set, only the DVD and the study manuals. You will have to buy it separately)

Would I recommend this series?  Yes, totally.  It is great for personal study, or a group study.  Just don’t think it will replace reading the book.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)



Join me in looking at The Fruit of the Spirit for the next 10 weeks.  Each Friday we will look at one of the Spiritual Fruit mentioned in this verse, and what we think it means.  Feel free to join in, by posting on a Friday.  You can snag the button either on the side-bar, or using the code below


Here is the schedule for posts:

I will (try to) post a Mr Linky each Friday so that you can post a link to your post. Otherwise you will just have to use the comments section.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ascension Day

Today is Ascension Day

Did you know that?  Did you even know that it existed?  This is the day when we commemorate Jesus rising into heaven after his resurrection. 

I was reading where somebody referred to it as the fourth most important Holy Day in the Christian Calendar.  (After Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.)  However ever since they stopped it as a Public Holiday in my country, I think it is a bit of a non-event here for many Christians. 

I have to admit I am not a big attender of Church on this day.  I am happy to honour the event, but have never felt compelled to go to Church to do this on Thursday night.  I often do, but I do not see it as a major event.  For me, Jesus kind of pulled of the greatest miracle of all time when he rose from the dead.  Going back to heaven is great, but it is a bit like a magician making a hat appear out of thin air in the middle of an empty field, hanging in the air and surrounded by cameras… and then still expecting me to me surprised when a rabbit climbs out the hat.

Do other people out there still attend Ascension Day services? 
Does anyone else actually get a day off for it?
Is Ascension Day part of your observances over Eastertide?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012