Faith and Family

Why honouring and obeying parents is a good idea

We live in a cultural context where children are increasingly being allowed not to honour and obey their parents (or anyone else for that matter). For instance, I know of only one or two secondary schools where good behaviour is to be expected and not rewarded. In the majority of secondary schools nowadays it is the opposite. Good behaviour is not expected and so it is rewarded. The distinction is subtle yet has massive implications.

In the fifth week of our sermon series on Faith and Family, we looked at the role of children in our families and saw that Children are to live in the image of Jesus, who loves and obeys his heavenly father (and showed this by loving and obeying his earthly mum and adopted dad). Ephesians 6:1-3 is a key text in setting out the expectation to honour and obey parents, and it gives us three reasons to do this… 

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Faith and Family

The role of the Word in our families

Last weekend I preached the forth sermon in a six sermon series entitled Faith and Family at Romford Evan. The big idea of the sermon, based primarily on Deuteronomy 6:4-9,20-25 was that God gives parents a simple but far-reaching calling: to listen to God’s Word, believe and accept it, and pass it on to their children (and their children, etc). 

In the sermon I shared some observations from Deuteronomy 6, 2 Timothy 3 and the subject of God’s Word in our families generally. For those who need the reminder, here they are…

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Bible by the Beach

Why you should think about going to Bible by the Beach

Over the first May Bank Holiday weekend Kirsten and I, along with a team of volunteers, went to Eastbourne for a relatively new event called Bible by the Beach, where we serve in leading the work with 14-18 year olds. Bible by the Beach started in 2009 with the aim of providing a weekend of Bible teaching that would be easily accessible for people who live in the south east of England. Since then it has seen 6 fruitful years of strengthening and equipping the church to live for Jesus in 21st century Britain.

Nevertheless, I get the feeling that Bible by the Beach is often underestimated or overlooked as a great option for those seeking to spend time growing in their faith. If you are committed to growing as a Christian and you live south of the Watford Gap (or even if you don’t), you really need to think about getting you and your church along to Bible by the Beach, and here are three reasons why…

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Bible preparation

5 things you really need to teach the Bible faithfully

Teaching the Bible can be a joyful task or a daunting task. I find I go through seasons of being able to get into a Bible passage really easily, and then find myself a few weeks later stuck in the mud of my own preparation. No matter whether my preparation has gone well or really badly (and some have been truly shocking!), there are a few things that I simply cannot do without if I want to faithfully fulfil my role as a Bible teacher.

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Which youth ministry language do you speak?

Ask for some chips in the UK and you will most likely end up with oblong batons of potato that have been deep fried in oil and wrapped up in paper. Ask for chips in the US and you will be given a packet of thinly sliced potatoes that have been fried or baked until crispy. The reason for this is that Brits and Americans use the same words but have slightly different understanding of what those words mean. We actually speak a different language to our American cousins.

The same is true in the world of ministry to teenagers. Church members, youth workers, and pastors can all be using the same terminology, but be speaking very different languages.

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Cumberbatch has been at it again…

Since seeing his photobombing efforts at this year’s Oscars, Benedict Cumberbatch has gone up in my estimations. Not least because it seems that Benedict has been photobombing for quite some time now. It is a little known fact that the famous painting ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo Da Vinci was actually a second attempt.

Indeed, the first picture was ruined by none other than Mr Cumberbatch himself…

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Simply the Trinity

Simply the Trinity

There is one God who is Father, Son and Spirit. Simple.

The concept of the trinity – one God in three persons – is both stunningly simple yet astoundingly complex. But more importantly, it is foundational (and I would argue that it is paramount, even) in terms of understanding anything about who God is and what he does.

There are many great books (Delighting in the trinity by Tim Chester, plus the relevant chapters in Doctrine by Mark Driscoll, Knowing God by JI Packer and Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem), web resources (such as the section on ‘Trinity’ at theResurgence.com) and other resources (listen to ‘Three in One’ from the God Unlimited album for something a bit lighter!) that we can turn to in order to engage with the doctrine of the Trinity. However, the best place to go to understand God is in his word, the Bible.

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Want good media…? Please pay for it!

One of the broader aspects of my role as an Assistant Pastor is to serve our church and the wider church by planning and leading a few larger-scale Christian conferences, youth events and training days. At one such Christian event recently, I was approached by a number of youth workers who were asking me about a video that we had used in one of the main sessions. In particular, this person wanted to know where I had got the video from, so that they could use it in their youth group. When I explained that we had bought the video from worshiphousemedia.com for $19 (£12), their faces often fell. “So it’s not on YouTube, then?” was the normal the reply. Some even asked me to email it to them anyway. While I sympathise with the mindset of resourcing free or cheap media for use in churches and their ministries, it is a mindset that is at best unhelpful and at worst illegal.

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Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

According to one newspaper I read recently, businesses in the capital were due to take a hit of multiples of millions of pounds on the morning of 17 September 2013. Why? All because of the release of a new video game: Grand Theft Auto V.

Aside from the financial cost of ‘GTA Flu‘ (as an expected 19% of working men take a day’s sick leave to play the game), there is something else about GTA5 which bothers me. As you search through news reports, blog posts and the assorted media hype over the game, people seem to be asking every question about GTA5 apart from one…

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