Smart Friends

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The title: "God the Almighty". The o...

 “God the Almighty”. The open book with text from Gospel of Matthew. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Friendship needs wisdom. Smart friends know when to talk, when to laugh, when to weep, when to shut up and when to kick you in the rear.”

– My Pastor.

I reckon My Pastor should put all these words of wisdom he shares on Facebook into a little book – maybe along with those by some of his friends like Matthew Burt of the “I’m gonna get on my knees and fight like a man” quote – and sell them to raise funds for the church.

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A Pastor or Three

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Volunteer Ministers

Volunteer Ministers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I have reblogged and quoted stuff Pastor 3 says or writes this does not mean that I think any less of the other two pastors. No indeed! Pastor 3 is a man of electronic communication so it is easy to connect that way. Pastor 1, the church‘s lead pastor, is not a social media person, but he is a very fine leader, and Pastor 2 is, I would say, a people person.

A church chum said we would not have the divorce group if Pastor 1 had not come along. Although traditional in many ways – and probably a Conservative voter (I am not) – he is also innovative. His   manner is both firm and gentle. He is also high up in the national church.

Pastor 1 will be embarking on a new volunteer project within Church Town, involving the large GP surgery, and I hope/have been asked to be involved in this in a small way. I will blog about it when it happens.

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Life Group Questions: The Servant King

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19th century reliquary of The Holy Crown of Je...

19th century reliquary of The Holy Crown of Jesus Christ, preserved at Notre-Dame, Paris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So these are the notes; better listen to the message from Sunday morning now! Made it to the evening service, which was packed out. They had to make way for more chairs and open the doors to let air in (and the evening sunshine, for once!)

TITLE & PASSAGE |
The Servant King’ – Mark 1:1-15
REFLECTION: remembering the main points |
 In his Gospel Mark gives us three doors into understanding Jesus.
 His identity – His Mission – His Call
 In Mark 1:1-15 we see:
o A Proclamation of His Identity
o A Preview of His Mission
o A Preparation for His Call
DISCUSSION: helpful questions |
 What do you think off when you hear the word ‘Gospel’?
 Look up Isaiah 40:9-10, 52:7, 61:1-2, what do these verses tell us about what the good news
or gospel is?
 Why is it important that we relate to Jesus as King as well as Saviour?
 How did John the Baptist prepare the way for Jesus and can we learn any lessons from him about being witnesses to Jesus today?
 What can we learn from Jesus’ baptism and temptation about how he came to serve us?
 Read Mark 8:27-37 why is it important to
understand Jesus’ Identity, Mission and Call.
Discuss the dangers of missing one?

English: Infant Jesus and John the Baptist, Mu...

Infant Jesus and John the Baptist, Museo del Prado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Step On

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Step on board, new followers – fullofinspirationals, takingbackearth and Bryan MacDonald.

Now I have a fair few followers and they are coming in thick and fast I might have to stop thanking each and ever one individually but I do really, really appreciate you pressing that ‘Follow’ button. 

Get On Your Knees to Fight!

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“If you want war, you’ve got it. I’m gonna get on my knees and fight like man.”  ~ Matthew Joseph Burt

How’s that for a quote! The getting on your knees bit refers, of course, to praying… and also to humbling yourself. I don’t know who Matthew is exactly except he is a friend of one of the pastors. It’s such a powerful quote. Awesome!

Wenceslas Hollar - The kneeling sinner

Wenceslas Hollar – The kneeling sinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Firing Up My Faith

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English: Delirious? in concert at the HMV Pict...

English: Delirious? in concert at the HMV Picture House in Edinburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another great night at church. I never thought I’d be as fired up about going to church as I used to be about going to gigs!

Plenty to think on. As we were singing I was aware, partly through doing this blog and those who follow it, of all the Christian people across the country (and the world) coming together to pray and sing and worship at 6.30pm (UK time) – when most UK services seem to take place. A powerful, uplifting feeling.

The pastor spoke about repentance this evening – a subject I have just blogged on.

I received my copy of World Service by Delirious? yesterday. My Christian mentor had lent me the original copy and I had had to return it – along with the Touched By an Angel DVD set and various other resources. I absolutely flippin’ love this album. I love its sheer musicality combined with the uplifting, expansive music and lyrics totally do it for me.

Pastor 3 has commented on his blog about “Jesus as boyfriend” devotional songs. I guess that idea ties in with luscious pictures/paintings of Jesus that render him as some sort rock star or romantic love object. And I suppose my number one song of the moment – ‘Inside Outside‘ – is a little on those lines in that it can read as a love song for a person or ‘Love Song for a Saviour’, as Jars of Clay would have it. But I simply adore it. In fact, I am listening to it now, like the repetitious lunatic I am…

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Hilarity – Songs for the Doubting Prayerwalker

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I just came across these jokey, pseudo-song titles on one of my my pastor’s blogs. I think they are hilarious but as an Exploring Christian I did wince somewhat – some of these titles kind of ring true for me sometimes!

Above Average is Thy Faithfulness
Be Thou My Hobby
I’m Fairly Certain That My Redeemer Lives
Joyful, Joyful, We Kinda Like Thee
My Hope is Built on Nothing Much
What an Acquaintance We Have in Jesus
When Peace, Like a Trickle. . .
When the Saints Go Sneaking In
Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following

Songs We Sing

Songs We Sing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Regret Versus Repentence

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English: Dictionary indents. Français : Marque...

English: Dictionary indents.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Was chatting to a friend tonight (who follows this blog) about regret and repentance.

There are things that I don’t entirely regret. We have all done or believed certain things about situations or people that felt right at the time. We simply did not know any better. Regret is a feeling.

The dictionary definition of repentance equates the word with regret. But repentance is an action.   Repentance is a radical turning away from former conduct that one now feels is wrong, possibly unhealthy or injurious to others or self.  My church handbook says repentance is “a personal sorrow at having sinned against God.” 

Repentance leads to moral renewal, “often evidenced by restitution – the effort to right one’s wrongs when possible.”

That should keep me going for a life time then!

 

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“Are You Happier….?”

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….Now you’ve found Jesus?” This was what a man from the church asked me recently.

I would not say I’ve exactly ‘found Jesus’. I don’t really like those phrases. I mean, I’ve always known about Jesus but I am now getting to know more about his life, work and what he means to Christians, what his death meant. And I can’t say I’ve been ‘saved’ either. Nah, I’m plodding on, reading, researching, singing, praying, going to church, getting involved, and loving it.

But happier? No-one promised happiness. Certainly not God. Life is filled with suffering. As Pastor 3 said, “It’s not going to be easy. But God offers buffers against suffering.” I’d like to think those buffers include other people. Good people, that is. Not complete twonks (translation: idiots).

I would say I feel more supported. And intrigued.

English: Jesus Christ, polychromed and gilded ...

English: Jesus Christ, polychromed and gilded woodcarved relief by Martin Vinazer (* 1674 in St. Ulrich in Gröden; † 1744) signed MVF (MV Fecit) Deutsch: Gefasstes Holzrelief des Martin Vinatzer gezeichnet MVF (MV Fecit) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Dynamic AGM at Church

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US664A University Sound Dynamic Supercardioid ...

US664A University Sound Dynamic Supercardioid Microphone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night was our church’s annual general meeting. It was unlike other meetings I’ve been to elsewhere. Very dynamic. Some linking between the church’s aims and scripture. Lots of praying between each section. Very inclusive. All three pastors presented slots. I was urged to get up on the microphone and talk too! (Briefly.)

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