May 2012

A Verse About Evangelism

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
James 3:17
This is one of my favourite verses about evangelism. On the surface of it, it doesn’t really seem to be about sharing our faith, but surely wisdom is a key quality required as we attempt to communicate God’s message to the world.
The words James uses to describe wisdom here are purity, peacefulness, gentleness, mercy. If you take James 3 verse 17 and apply it to a person, what kind of person do you picture? Is this the brash, arrogant evangelist who proclaims their message, desperately trying to convince you to change your mind? I suspect not.
If wisdom is pure and sincere then our lives must back up the words that come out of our mouths. If wisdom is peace-loving then we cannot be judgemental or brash in our presentation of the truth. If wisdom is impartial, full of mercy and good fruit, we cannot pass judgement on someone else’s situation. If wisdom is considerate, we must allow people the time and space to develop in their journey of faith, without constantly feeling the need to check up on their spiritual progress. If wisdom is submissive, then we must be humble and allow others to help us and realise that we need them too. We need to be the kind of person with whom people might dare to share their innermost doubts and fears.
In truth, James has really defined the nature of God himself in this verse, not just the nature of wisdom and it is with God’s help that we are called to carry out the nature of God into our friendships, family and community.

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Undefeated – promote justice for the disabled during the Olympic celebrations.

Disability, Injustice, Inclusion

According to the World Health Organisation, more than one billion people in the world experience some form of disability. If they all became one country, they’d be the third largest nation on earth. That nation would also have the world’s highest rates of homelessness, unemployment, divorce, abuse and suicide.

That shouldn’t be. And it needn’t be.

Undefeated contains all you need for a one hour church service during the paralympics and invites you to urge the UK government to improve the inclusion of disabled people in their strategy for the poorest countries of the world.
Could you promote this brand new campaign in your community? Could you be the one to prompt the organisation of a service locally to highlight the issue? Do you agree with the following statements? Could you sign up to this on their website?

I ask the UK government to:

Prioritise the promotion of inclusion policies for disabled people on all foreign aid projects
Ensure disability is incorporated into the UN’s post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agenda
Strengthen its encouragement for countries to adopt and practise the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

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They don’t serve breakfast in hell.

On a train up to London last week, something happened that made me think about ‘hell’, for the first time in a while. A lady sat beside me, put her tea on the fold-down tray, and lost herself in her book. A jolt from the train made the drink slide down so that it was balancing rather precariously between the edge of the tray and her book. I saw this, and could see the possible impending danger that could result.
What should I do? I could ignore it, or I could warn her? But to warn her would risk me feeling foolish if she chose to ignore the warning, or think I was silly to make a fuss, or… Too late. Another jolt from the train and all hell broke out. Boiling hot tea all over the poor ladies’ legs. Missed me completely – but scalded her quite badly, I imagine. Next stop and she had to exit to return home, another day spoiled and a pair of jeans ruined and sore legs for a long time to come. Poor thing. I felt so sorry for her.
But I hadn’t done anything to prevent it.
I imagine, if she’d known I had foreseen the possible accident was about to happen she would have said ‘Why on earth didn’t you say something?’

Don’t know what you think of when you picture hell.
We don’t hear it preached about often now.
But a place where all trace of God has been removed just doesn’t bear thinking about really.
And whether it’s a stranger on a train, or a neighbour, friend, or dear family member, I think we should warn them, don’t you?

If we really caught even a tiny glimpse of Heaven, we would rejoice when we know someone has gone on there to be with Christ.
And if we really caught even a tiny glimpse of hell, we’d do all we can every day to save people from going there.

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‘Risk’ and the art of running

I have found it, a way to exercise (run to be precise) and to enjoy it! My secret, podcasts! I have recently been educated in the field of technology, and have discovered that there is a wealth of fantastic Christian podcasts available and best of all they are free.

Podcasts I discovered are in fact recordings of various Churches Sunday morning sermons, or other teaching sessions. Willow Creek, whose Senior Pastor is Bill Hybels, ‘upload’ their sermons for free each week, as do many larger Churches. And so, thanks largely to a technically savvy husband, I have been downloading these onto my i-pod, and while I run, I listen to a sermon. Multi-tasking at its best! I have even been running further as I am caught up in the message I am listening to and don’t want to stop before it finishes.

Even more exciting, Willow Creek have just started a new 3 week series entitled ‘Risk’. The description of the series is this; God asks us to take risks in moving His kingdom forward – to risk starting conversations, building friendships, helping people out. Risk not having all the answers. Are you a risk taker?

How appropriate for Activate, I will definitely be tuning in, and I hope you do too. Whether it is while you exercise, driving to work, or iron, make use of these seemingly dull activities, invest in your spiritual growth.

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