Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Only a black pastor would say this

How should young men treat their pastors/ministers/elders. Bryan Lorrits, a black pastor ministering in the US writes suggests the following:
1. [...] Don’t call him by his first name until he gives you permission to do so. 
2. Because of his status, assume that his time is way more valuable than yours.  Therefore don’t waste his time.  Show up early.  Beat him to the meeting. 
3. Bring something to write with.  Taking notes sends the message that you value his time and what he has to say. 
4. Unless you are taking notes on your phone (and if so let him know you are, so he doesn’t think you’re fooling around), turn the phone off. 
5. If you didn’t do so before the meeting, within the first five minutes let him know exactly what you want to talk about, and have well thought out questions prepared to ask. 
6. I don’t care how broke you are, your mama may have had to give you bus fare to get to the restaurant, offer to pay for breakfast (and pray he turns you down!).  It’s just good manners. 
7. Thank him profusely for his time. 
8. And if you want to really go the extra mile send him a thank you note when it’s all said and done.
I think I'm in agreement with most of these suggestions (and not just because I'm a pastor J) but I suspect that there is no way, no way at all that a white man would get away with suggesting these things (especially if they are white British). Agree?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Why is God smiting The US?

Over at The Federalist, Rachel Lu writes expressing her concern at the recent crazy weather and asks:
Why is God smiting us? Also, why aren’t more people worried about this?
Part of her answer:
Let’s be honest here. Is there anyone left in this country [USA] who doesn’t think we have some affliction coming to us? We may disagree wildly about the disease and the symptoms, but a quick read through the news will affirm one point of agreement between left and right: our nation has fallen into a moral sinkhole of epic proportions. Repentance is clearly in order. Hearty shoveling seems like a good place to start.
FAB - Forthright; Astute; Biblical-ish. Read the full thing here.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Gimli's pre-marital advice

I’m not sure if Tolkien would fully agree (we’ll find out when we get to glory) but if ever I have a pre-marriage counselling room, the verse I want hanging all around the walls is the comment by Gimli, moments before he (and Company) depart Rivendell:
Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens
These words come in respond to Elrond having given the Company (bar Frodo) permission to abandon the quest if at any point they feel unable to continue:
You may tarry, or come back, or turn aside into other paths, as chance allows. The further you go, the less easy it will be to withdraw; yet no oath or bond is laid on you to go further than you will. For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road.

To this Gimli responds with that challenging yet profoundly biblical line: Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens. Isn’t that precisely what the Christian marriage wedding vows get at with it's sobering:

For better, for worse

For richer, for poorer

In sickness and in health

To love and cherish


May God by His grace enable us to stay faithful to Him and each other to the very end. Amen.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

"Do you lock your door at night?" An atheist's logic crumbles

Watch Ravi Zacharias' quick witted response below, where he not only managed to bring some humour to a serious subject but demonstrated the emptiness of Atheistic thinking...

Monday, 17 February 2014

NSPCC ignores the most vulnerable

I’ve recently been having some child protection training so as that apparently, I can be up to speed re the latest wrinkle of the safeguarding bug. In my most recent training session there was a module on neglect (which according to the NSPCC is the most common reason for children being the subject of a child protection plan)

Now get this, neglect (according to HM Government among others) is defined as:
the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development.

Furthermore, neglect occurs when:
parents and carers are unable or unwilling to meet a child's needs [and] may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.

Now can someone help me: if those definitions are true how is it that we permit abortions?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

How wolves change rivers

Confirmation in 4 minutes that God has made all things wonderful...

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The real evil of masturbation & the true exercise of imagination

C S Lewis with some wise wise words:

For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself…. And it is not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized, forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination.

The true exercise of imagination, in my view, is (a) To help us to understand other people (b) To respond to, and, some of us, to produce, art. But it has also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for virtues, successes, distinctions etc. which ought to be sought outside in the real world—e.g. picturing all I’d do if I were rich instead of earning and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, our of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison. 

--Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Vol. 3 (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 758-59

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Death defeated but...

“Of all men, we hope most of death; yet nothing will reconcile us to–well, its unnaturalness. We know that we were not made for it; we know how it crept into our destiny as an intruder; and we know Who has defeated it. Because our Lord is risen we know that on one level it is an enemy already disarmed; but because we know that the natural level also is God’s creation we cannot cease to fight against the death which mars it, as against all those other blemishes upon it, against pain and poverty, barbarism and ignorance. Because we love something else more than this world we love even this world better than those who know no other.”

–C.S. Lewis God in the Dock

Thursday, 6 February 2014

10 ways to help those who've left the Faith

1) Pray for them

2) Pursue them together with the whole Church

3) Work with the parents and support them in their grief

4) Go repeatedly to the wandering person

5) Bring the covenant promises before them

6) Grab them by their baptism

7) Practice the long-suffering of the LORD

8) Work carefully through the official stages of church discipline

9) If excommunication occurs, let them fell the consequences but keep before him the steps of return

10) Keep remembering the story is not over as long as the person is alive

Lots of useful stuff here although I would have put steps 8-10 first. Read the full thing here.