Friday, 25 December 2009
The Cambridge Seven is a biography focussing on the lives of seven ordinary men, who came together after their studies at Cambridge during the late 1800s. Their progressive coming to and growth in their faith of the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour, led to the increasing sentiment within each of them that this was a message which couldn't simply be kept to those with repeated opportunities to hear it i.e. those within the fair British isles - China was their destination to be. The book shows each individual's journey towards this decision, and the many challenges and huge sacrifices put before them to be conformed more into His likeness, giving up all within them to Him, trusting in him fully and serving the kingdom of God with all that they have. These personal recollections are an awe-inspiring and tremendous challenge to the all too often feeble faith that I possess. The sacrifices joyfully made, and the love for and rejoicing in time spent praying to and reading the word of God, and their eagerness and sincere desire to talk to others about their personal relationships with God, has earnestly encouraged and inspired me, to want to live in light of a Saviour and Lord most worthy.
A good read indeed! [ 8.3/10 ]
Friday, 18 December 2009
'So here's a park manual, and here's the rangers details. He's the guy you need to keep in touch with'
So here I am, walking up hill, working on my stride, trusting in the manual I've been given. I'd trip up a bit less if I used it's guidance a bit more, however it's something I'm working on. The junction is coming, however in the meantime I remain... the Latent.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Christianity, without the Christ?
Father Geoffrey Kirk, one of the leaders of Forward in Faith, is among those who said he intends to convert to Catholicism.
He said: "The Church of England is, in the view of many of us, ceasing to be the church of Jesus Christ and becoming the church of political correctness, not only the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate - to which we object - but also in many attitudes to human sexuality from divorce and remarriage, to homosexuality."
www.bbc.co.uk (24/10/09) "Anglican group mulls Rome switch"
Traditionalists sometimes accuse liberals of diluting the Christian belief in Jesus as the only way to God, through an attempt to preserve neighbourly relations with the followers of other faiths.Some conservative evangelicals even suspect progressive members of their church of seeing other faiths as a "valid" route to a relationship with a common creator.
www.bbc.co.uk (23/09/09) "Faith Diary: Changing Loyalties"
There's been a lot of interesting stuff in the news recently regarding the Anglican church, especially concerning a large body thinking of moving to Catholicism. It concerns me, not because there may be a potential split in the church, but more because it shows that people feel the church has gone so far away from Jesus, that there is no longer any Christ in Anglican Christianity. Should the basis of the church be ever less on what he did, and instead on what feels right, what is politically correct...? I find it very hard to relate this to reflect an ultimate ruler, which the Bible says is above all and is stable like a rock. How can we each declare our own version of God based on our opinions - surely this can't then be the same God?!?! I agree strongly that the church should be able to relate to the society that it is in, however when I read the bible I find repeatedly that whilst many aspects of our society have indeed greatly changed, the way people live and think has not. People were looking for exactly the same things 2000 years ago as they are today. I sincerely pray, that if a split occurs, it will mean that more churches and congregations will humble themselves and return to teaching based on what Jesus' followers reported about his life.
The Bible says that man is sinful, he wants to serve himself first. He cannot save himself, and needs a saviour to rescue him. Jesus is that Saviour, and can bring us back to a relationship with God. Every person needs to turn from worshipping themselves, back to their loving heavenly Father. Doing so frees you for eternity. God is good :-)
I'd like to finish with Psalm 8 - it shows us so clearly the mindset we need to be in:
1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honour.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Thank you grately for reading this far, it means a lot to me.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Thanks for reading, and please let me know your thoughts!
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Meine Kollege Ein Kinderlied bei der Kirche
Das Essen........ Leckeres...................................................Nicht so.....(Fettbaemmer)
Saturday, 5 September 2009
This book is in the old testament, and so it pre-Jesus' ministry. Haggai was around during the reign of Darius, a Babylonian/Chaldean king (Hag 1:1, 1:15, 2:10). Darius was relatively leniant towards the Israelites (Dan 6:2-6). The people of Israel were mostly exiled to Babylon and the temple in Jerusalem destroyed. A remnant of the people however remained in Judah (Hag 1:12). The Judeans were beginning to repent and return to God (Dan 9:1-20)
Turning back to God might be like... a 3 year old trying really hard to draw a picture for their father because they want to please him. It's not a masterpiece, however when they give it to him, he shows his joy and love to the child, welcoming and encouraging him. God wanted Israel (and all people today) to stop living to serve themselves, and to turn back him.
- No one's attempts to be in control will ever be truely enough
- There will be a judgement, and justice will be revealed
I take far too much for granted, and despite my too often feeble efforts in trying to live for him, I've still got a long way to go! I need to trust God a lot more in the situations around me - he's the one in control. I guess in some ways, it's blasphemous to thing that I can handle everything!!! I should also rejoice more in the blessing of his kingdom now, and rejoice in the certain hope of the kingdom to come!
Sunday, 30 August 2009
In this part of the letter, Paul emphasises to the colossians exactly who Jesus is, and what it means for him to be the image of the invisible God. Creator, sustainer, redeemer, ruler, trendsetter and head of the church! The colossians can only be saved through their continued trust in him!
This passage continues to challenge me, every time I read it. I all to easily become complacent in my thinking of who Jesus is, or what he has done for me. How can I justify giving him 30 minutes of my day, and then spending 2 hours browsing the internet looking at junk?!?! I need to lift my eyes and focus on him a heck of a lot more than at present - to my detriment is my laziness and complacency. My thinking if so often muddled with my own wordly life goals and perspectives - I need a shake up several times a day - my life needs to be one of praise to the supreme and saviour king!
p.s. thank goodness my place in heaven is purely down to what he has done; works ain't gonna get me a comfy seat up there - they're my appreciation, thanks and praise to a wonderful saviour and lord!
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Task 1: Getting an overview of the letter
Following the much appreciated notes downloaded from the website of st-helens, bishopsgate, my first task was to get a general feel for the letter. Although divided up into chapters and verses, originally the letter would have been read outloud in the church in one go. After reading the whole letter, a lot of things previously looked at in Bible studies at random points during my time as a Christian suddenly started to click together. The mantra, "text without a context is a con", is starting to hit home - exciting stuff! I'm starting to realise how everything (i.e. all topics adressed in the letter) was/is to be based on their trust on who Jesus is.
Task 2: Thinking through it's structure
The next task was to divide the letter up according to different topics adressed. After advice from the notes, I scribbled over the paragraph headings (lol, Paul didn't write those), and examined for different themes myself. These were then summarised into headings, giving me the following:
1:1-2 --- Author & recipients
1:3-8 --- Paul's thanks for their living in light of the gospel [faith in Christ, hope in heaven, love in light of this]
1:9-14 --- Paul prays that they will contiune to grow, to mature, and to endure
1:12-20 --- Jesus is supreme over all [creator, sustainer, head of the church, first to rise from the dead, holy, sacrifice, reconciler]
1:21-23 --- The Colossians are saved because of Jesus
1:24-29 --- Paul's example and mission in light of Jesus
2:1-7 --- Paul desires for them to get greater spiritual riches in their relationship with Jesus
2:8-15 --- Jesus has proven himself victorious, don't be trapped by the world's ideas
2:16-23 --- Salvation and growth is through Jesus, we're free from rituals and regulations
3:1-4 --- Having citizenship of heaven (with Jesus), live like it!
3:5-11 --- Therefore put your old sinful natute to death
3:12-17 --- Live your life as a child of God [love and the bible are key in this]
3:18-4:1 --- Don't seek personal pride, but submit yourself in relationships, in the name of Christ
4:2-6 --- Pray always, especially for opportunities to live for and speak of what Jesus has done
4:7-18 --- We should encourage, support and challenge each other in out walks with Christ
Task 3: Next was to pick out recurring themes and anything I didn't understand
Recurring themes: Jesus, foundations, growing to maturity, supremacy
Questions: The how to's of greater spiritual riches in JC, word of God dwell in you richly (OT?)
So, off the top of my head, Colossians in a nutshell would be...
Paul, one of Jesus' disciples, is thankful to God for the how the good news of what Jesus has done, is transforming their lives. However Paul is eagre that this spiritual growth contiunes. He reminds the Colossians that Jesus is supreme over everything; creator, sustainer, holy, a perfect sacrifice and first to rise from the dead. Although saved, Paul is eagre that they keep on growing and get the very most from their salvation. This can only come through a greater understanding and rooting in Jesus. Jesus has more than proven himself, and is the only life that will provide true fulfillment. In light of this, the Colossians should realise that all previous/current religious activity and ritual were there to point to Jesus. So now that the Colossians have a place in heaven because of Jesus, they need to start living like citizens of heaven. This means putting to death their old self serving ways, desires, and speech, and living as God wants them to be living, love for each other being a key aspect. Humble submission in all relationships (marriage, parent-child, worker-boss) is another key aspect of this. Paul concludes by telling them to be praying, for opportunities and wisdom for himself and themselves to be telling others about the good news of Jesus. The end of the letter has a few notices for the church, showing that we should be encouraging, supporting and challenging each other in our walk with Christ.
I 'll try and put up some of my reflections on the letter to the Colossians as I work through it (it's awesome!).
Saturday, 4 July 2009
International group at the Christian union and my new church home group (both very nice people!)
The hospital and me in my new uniform
Weekend trip to Leipzig with Jeremias and his friends (Slack line walking)
Bundesrepublik Neustadt festival - whole town quarter taken over by a street party!
Sunday, 14 June 2009
View from the balcony
the church service
making plaster of paris masks!
Words of the day include...
- Ringelblume: marigold
- Knöchel: ankle
- Hirt: shepherd