H asked this morning what my New Year's resolutions were. I said something about getting more fresh air - I was careful to word it that way instead of committing myself to “exercise”… - but I have another one that I didn't mention because I wasn't sure about it, and it's going to be difficult. But what's life without challenge and accountability: My New Year's resolution, aside from getting more fresh air, is to stop disparaging other Christians in blog posts.
Right at the start of this Gospel, we have a challenge. Why are we reading this? What do we expect to “get out'' of reading the Bible? Should we expect to get anything out of it?
When I was at Bible college, we did an essay for the leadership course on “transformational and transactional leadership in the life of Jesus”. To define those terms a bit, transactional leadership is leadership which sets conditions and rewards to get a goal done. Tell the men that if build this ship for you, you will pay them. Transformational leadership is that which inspires a team to want what you want. Teach the men, as Saint-Exupery put it, “to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” In transformational leadership, the team is the real end product; even if you don't build the ship, you may well have built the men.
Hello! I've left Gerrards Cross and am now in Oxford, having just gone to Stafford, and being about to go to Reading, and then London, Wales and Gerrards Cross again. The lovely man at the train station spent a very long time playing around with different routings on my itinerary and saved me an awful lot of money.
The prayer meeting last night was run by the Operation World team. OW is a fantastic resource, and one of those things that we does that nobody knows is ours. So I love OW, and I particularly love the way that we here, with the OW staff on hand, can use the most current research that they’re doing to help us pray for brothers and sisters around the world with the issues that they face right now.
You know there’s a “but” coming, don’t you? We’ll get to that. Read more about Til the work on earth is done
Here is a parable.
A church pastor declares to his friend, a mission society leader, that the idea of “mission societies” is obstructive and non-Biblical. Always poaching our best people! Churches should be sending missionaries out directly!
So it all started because I was thinking about the elephants. You know, the fact that the elephants are mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. Bluntly, the elephants are engaged in behaviour that should be regarded, by any reasonable definition of the words, as sentient, and ought to be regarded as sinful. I mean, they've always had multiple systems of communication and complex funeral rites. That's smart. But right now, they're raping rhinoceroses and ganging up to trap humans and kill them. That's just wrong. Is this sinful? To put that question another way, is this the way God intended elephants to behave? I can't say for sure, but to be honest, the odds aren't good. So do elephants need a Redeemer? Do they need an elephant Redeemer? I'm not going to go there, because this is just context, but that's what got me thinking.
I've put live a new page about my mission work, to give people more information about what I'm planning to do and why. It's also a resource for churches to be able to print off stuff about me, my profile, prayer letters, giving form, and so on, and it serves as a place for me to put presentations and other materials for future reference.