Friday, 30 September 2011

MRI Results September 2011

On Tuesday 20 September I received results of a recent MRI scan, it's the first set of results we've had since the chemotherapy started. We were hoping for no spread, no growth, and maybe even some shrinkage of the tumour. The results were excellent, the tumour has shrunk greatly and my brain itself is looking much better.

These were very important results, and we're deeply thankful for them and for those throughout the world who have been labouring in prayer for us.

With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; His love endures forever. (Psalm 136.12)

If you'd like to hear me on a late-night ramble about the scan results, you can in the videos below!

The second video ends with a song by Chris Tomlin called 'Our God' from the album 'And if our God is for us.' It's a song that has meant a lot to us throughout the period from the original diagnosis to receiving these results.

Previous Updates:

28 July Health Update
20 May An Update
24 April View from the Valley

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Christianity, courage and convictions

Euan Murray on refusing to play for Scotland on Sunday:

"It's basically all or nothing, following Jesus. I don't believe in pick 'n' mix Christianity,I believe the Bible is the word of God, so who am I to ignore something from it?I might as well tear out that page then keep tearing out pages as and when it suits me. If I started out like that there would soon be nothing left."
More in this yahoo article. You can imagine the response here in secular Scotland, by reading the comments!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A Glorious Gospel!

(i)            Outline why God's Gospel of grace is so glorious

The Gospel is glorious because it is Good News that speaks of a glorious God.

Firstly the Gospel speaks of a God who is so perfect and pure that we cannot reach up to Him. He’s too high, too holy. And as a just God he will not sweep our sin under the carpet. This is no compromised God that the Gospel speaks of.

Secondly the Gospel speaks of a God who is so loving that though we were unable to reach up to Him, He reached down to us in Christ, took our guilt and shame and gifts forgiveness and fellowship to all who will trust in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

That’s glorious Good News that speaks of a glorious God.

(ii)          What are the dangers of getting the Gospel wrong?

As the Gospel speaks of the very nature of God, getting the gospel wrong means getting our understanding of God wrong. We end up worshipping a god who is less than the true and living God revealed to us in Christ.

Secondly the Gospel not only speaks about the nature of God, but shows us the way to Him. Therefore our very salvation is at stake. See Galatians 1:6-12 for how seriously Paul took getting the Gospel right. To abandon the true Gospel is to abandon the true God.

(iii)     What safeguards should the Christian have in place to ensure ongoing faithfulness to the Gospel?

We should be people who love and value:

The Bible which reveals the true Gospel.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper which remind us of the Gospel.
A local Church which is nothing less than a Gospel community.

And we should be discerning; we would be wrong to assume that there are no false gospels being preached in our churches, or Christian books, or popular hymns today. We would also be wrong to assume that they are any less subtle or any less damaging than they were in the days Paul wrote to the church in Galatia.

The Good News is so good, so glorious, that we must guard it, treasure it, tell it, teach it and live in accordance with it!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A Glorious Gospel?

Here are a few questions I was emailed recently:

(i) Why is God's Gospel of grace so glorious?

(ii) What are the dangers of getting the Gospel wrong?

(iii) What safeguards should the Christian have in place to ensure ongoing faithfulness to the Gospel?

How would you answer those questions?

I’ll post my attempt tomorrow, for now you can read responses from Peter Grainger, Wayne Sutton, Derek Prime, Colin Adams, and Craig Dyer here.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The Great Physician

This is a very interesting little peep into the house of the apostolic fisherman. We quickly observe that household joys and cares are no hindrance to the full exercise of ministry; rather they furnish an opportunity for personally discovering the Lord's gracious work in one's own family. They may provide better instruction for the teacher than any other earthly discipline. There are those who decry marriage, but true Christianity and family life live well together. Peter's house was possibly a poor fisherman's hut, but the Lord of Glory entered it, lodged in it, and worked a miracle in it. If these words are being read this morning in some very humble cottage, let this fact encourage the inhabitants to seek the company of King Jesus. God is more often in little huts than in rich palaces.
Jesus is looking around your room now and is waiting to be gracious to you. Into Simon's house illness had entered; fever in a deadly form had prostrated his mother-in-law; and as soon as Jesus came, they told Him of the sad affliction, and He hurried to the patient's bed. Do you have any illness in the house this morning? You will find Jesus the best physician by far; go to Him at once and tell Him all about the matter. Immediately lay the case before Him. It concerns one of His people, and therefore He will not regard it as trivial. Notice that immediately the Saviour restored the ill woman; none can heal as He does. We dare not assume that the Lord will remove all illness from those we love, but we dare not forget that believing prayer for the sick is far more likely to be followed by restoration than anything else in the world; and where this does not happen, we must meekly bow to His will by whom life and death are determined. The tender heart of Jesus waits to hear our griefs; let us pour them into His patient ear.

From Truth for Life's Daily Devotionals