Saturday, 28 January 2012

IREF 2012

Today 3 of our church members set out to serve with IREF in Andhra Pradesh, India. 

One of the things which IREF model well is their eagerness to meet both physical and spiritual need in Jesus’ Name. 

They have already hosted a number of Gospel meetings leading to 51 baptisms so far. Our members are part of the medical team providing free healthcare clinics.

IREF is an indigenous mission, run by Indians- for Indians, and cares for thousands of children from the poorest of backgrounds.

Their mission statement is as follows:

The India Rural Evangelical Fellowship is an indigenous Indian mission dedicated to:
  • Reaching the rural population of Andhra Pradesh, South India, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Mobilising and equipping national workers to carry out evangelism and so fulfill the Great Commission
  • Planting local churches and enabling them to develop
  • Caring for orphans, providing them with a good academic and spiritual Christian education
  • Providing good Christian education at Further and Higher(Degree) levels, especially to young people from deprived backgrounds
  • Providing free medical check-ups and medication for those in its care
  • Establishing Income Generation Projects to enable the poorest Christians to provide for their families
  • Providing emergency relief to cyclone, flood, and disaster victims

Please pray for our members (Jim, Jason and Liz), the rest of the team, the Indians they are working with and serving. If you’d like a prayer newsletter please email me at

If you’d like to sponsor a child you can find out about that here (UK)

Or make a one off donation by texting: IREF12 £2 / £5 / £10  to 70070 eg IREF12 £5

If you’re in the USA you can find out more details here 

Friday, 27 January 2012

Jefferson Bethke's poems

I've been pleased to see these videos going viral,
the spoken word can still captivate:

Religion and Jesus:

Sex, Marriage and Fairytales:

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Driscoll's 6 points on the UK Church

Following up on my previous post, here's Driscoll's more measured exhortation to the Church in the UK: 
'Here are some of my unedited thoughts for British evangelicals, whom I love and desire to see be exceedingly fruitful as they contend for the gospel of Jesus in their country.
1. You are in a cultural context that is more non-Christian, and even anti-Christian, than even the most liberal cities in the United States. I’ve taught across Scotland, Ireland, and England. Each one is more difficult to reach than my hometown of Seattle, which is one of the historically least-churched and most secular-minded cities in America. I’ve said for years that Britain and Canada are more secular and difficult than the United States. So, for those pastors (especially church planters) working in some tough soil, thank you!
2. You have great pressure from the media and even some legal liability that can cause preachers and teachers to whisper their beliefs rather than proclaim them. This is unfortunate, but it's reality, not unlike the early church preaching the gospel in the face of the Roman Empire. More than ever, humble courage is required!
3. Please do not compromise on essential doctrinal issues. Please do not back down from the perfection, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture as the very Word of God. Please do not shy away from talking about sin and allowing your preaching and teaching to devolve into vaguely spiritual self-help principles. Please do not be ashamed of the foolishness of the cross, where Jesus died in our place for our sins enduring the wrath of God we deserve. Please do not be timid to call people to repent of sin and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, as apart from him there is no forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God. And please do not deny the reality of a literal, conscious, eternal torment in hell, because people are going there and lying to them is not loving them!
4. Please ask yourself if your churches are doing all you can to reach younger generations so that the churches do not become museums telling of the days when people used to love Jesus, but rather remain missions where people continue to meet him as Lord, God, Savior, friend, King, and Christ!
5. Please earnestly ask if enough is being done to reach, train, and deploy godly, gifted men, especially young men, into the marketplace and ministry. As you look around your church this Sunday, ask if you see enough substantive Christian men to lead your church for the next few generations, and if not, sound the alarm that there is a crisis!
6. Please ask why there is a lack of courageous young Christian preachers heralding the word of God across Britain and beyond and why, when there are big events for evangelicals, a speaker often has to be brought in from another country to preach. Please pray for the next Spurgeon, and if you are a Christian leader, do all you can to, by the grace of God, provide opportunities to see those kind of preachers and leaders raised up to lead the cause of the gospel in your country!'

Monday, 16 January 2012

Driscoll on UK Preachers

Was just settling down to write a blog post on the (most) recent Mark Driscoll controversy when I read Adrian Warnock's reflection. He's basically said what I wanted to so here's the link. (Full audio of the controversial interview is linked to on this page too.)

Particularly pertinent is Warnock's second point:

'It is vital that we hear the main point that Driscoll is making, that British preachers should be more bold. It is never nice when people make generalizations, but Driscoll is right that we in the UK have too many apologetic preachers.  Driscoll is angry at times largely because he has been gripped by the cause of Christ. I sometimes think we would lose more than we would gain if Driscoll was to become more measured in what he says.'  

When receiving criticism the man giving it, and the manner in which it's given, should not stop us asking, 'is there anything valid in there I should accept and act upon?' I believe there is substance to Driscoll's critique and hope when the dust settles we'll all be happy to focus on that for the cause of the Kingdom.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Call Leadership Conference

Scottish Church leaders\preachers- this conference looks great.

And now I've safely booked my place I feel happy to commend it to you!

More at Liam Garvie's blog here

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Factoring in God's presence

'God is at peace in himself, and in his presence there is peace. The most repeated negative command in Scripture is ‘fear not.’ It appears 365 times — one for each day of the year — and is usually followed by ‘for I am with you.’ 

God would have us understand that factoring in his presence always changes the equation. '

Ramon Presson
(Greensboro, NC.: New Growth Press, 2011), 102

From: Of First Importance blog.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Spurgeon: 'The motto for this year must be...'

“Continue in prayer.”
Colossians 4:2 -

It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. 

We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as we are about to close the volume, the “Amen” of an earnest supplication meets our ear. 

Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob—there a Daniel who prayed three times a day—and a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises. 

What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then, may the Lord’s mercy show thee thy misery! A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian. If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father’s face, and live in thy Father’s love. Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of his love. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. 

The motto for this year must be, “Continue in prayer.”

Charles Spurgeon
From 'Morning and Evening'