Archive for the 'community' Category

05
Jun
13

Why I stopped blogging (and why I am starting again)!

A quick look at my blog shows you that I have been silent for some time. I stopped for a number of reasons but the main ones were.

1. I was unsure whether I was blogging to see what people thought. My gut feeling is that for blogging to be valuable it has to be beneficial to me.
2. I was beginning to be worried about what people thought about what I wrote. In many ways the blog is a space to develop my thinking and so at times I blog rather like thinking aloud.
3. I wanted to be sure it wasn’t simply a case of narcissism. Believing that I had something worth saying – listen to me I’m clever.

So why am I starting again?
1. It is a good way of processing ideas and helps me.
2. It offers a chance to connect with people I might not get to see too often and share what is going on with me.
3. It offers a good place for debate.

I can’t promise how often I will blog but will do it when it helps me

John

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03
Jun
12

Why I stopped blogging (and why I am starting again)!

A quick look at my blog shows you that I haven’t been here for a while. I stopped blogging for a number of reasons – the main ones being

1. I was unsure whether I was blogging to see if I was popular rather than for genuine reasons. I think for blogging to be worthwhile it has to benefit me

2. I was beginning to wonder more about what people thought about what i wrote rather than using it as a space to develop my thinking.

3. I wanted to be sure that this wasn’t simply a case of narcissism – look at me aren’t I clever

So why am i starting again?

1. It’s a good way of processing ideas – writing stuff down helps me do that.

2. It offers a chance to connect with people I might not see too often and dialogue about what I am thinking and what is going on

3. It’s a reasonable place to have some measure of debate

I can’t promise how often I will blog – just often enough to help me

John

21
Apr
11

who is welcome here? – april 18

Reading Matthew 26 14-35

Jesus brings new meaning to the familiar story as he celebrates the passover with his disciples. A meal that focuses on God the redeemer and whose depth is all the greater through the cross of Jesus.

His blood is poured out for many – so the invitation is for those who want to celebrate God’s recdemtion to come an d take part. In recent times the place of children at communion has been much debated. But then i find myself asking, ‘who am I to decide who should come?’ – it is God’s heart that matters. Are all welcome at this table?

11
Apr
11

judgement is terrible – april 9

Reading Matthew 23 Highlighted Passage: 23:29-39

We see the heart of Jesus as he looks at Jerusalem here. His assessment is motivated by love but is also realistic. I wonder how I look at my city – my society. I believe that god is in control but also when people choose to live without God the consequences are serious.

How much do I have the Father’s heart for my community – wanting to care for them and sharing their pain. If not I am in danger of just being like the teachers of the law who justify themselves – teachers who Jesus condemns?

21
Mar
11

Be dependent – march 21

Reading: Matthew 10:1-16

The sending out of the disciples is often used as a call to misssion work. But I am reminded as I read this that al of us are called to follow their example – this is not a passage for those in so called ‘full-time’ Christian work. Instead Jesus give clear instructions that show that we all need to operate in a way that means we depend on each other. That is how the disciples would survive

In a celebrity and entrepenurial culture, this challenge to simply depend on others for our basic needs of life is challenging and humbling. How dependent on others are you?

 

07
Mar
11

LENT 2011

What are you doing for LENT 2011?

I hear lots of conversation about what people are giving up for LENT – chocolate, facebook, phones, TV and although I think some of these are very worthy, I wonder if they miss the point. The idea was that giving up these things is so that we can give more time to focus on God. Hence my real question which is…

‘What are you taking up for LENT that will help you get to know God better?’

Well if you aren’t doing anything here is a chance. As part of Biblefresh why not taking up a personal Bible reading challenge and interact with others via e-mail and/or facebook? My proposal is that we create a virtual group and join in with The Big Read 2011. The idea is to read through the whole of Matthew’s gospel during Lent and share what you learn with others. You can do this by joining the facebook group SU – The Big Read 2011 online here or by sending an e-mail to me with the subject line ‘SU – The Big Read 2011’.

What will happen then is

EITHER: every day you will get an e-mail that tells you what to read, asks a few pertinent questions and offers some other links to explore. These will be posted on my blog ‘To Ephesus and beyond’ and you will be able to comment there.

OR: you will get the same information via a facebook message and you can post your comments on that page.

So why not do something for LENT this year – it could change your life.

John Stephenson – Scripture Union

02
Mar
10

God the Creator

 Almost at the end of our first full day of training here and as I type I can hear the thunder and the rain outside. It’s been a lovely day up until now and we had a great game of volleyball. We began the day looking at Psalm 104. I was particularly struck by the connection the psalmist makes between God and his creation. This is no absent designer; he continues to be in intimately involved in all aspects of his creation. Even at the point of death the psalmist acknowledges that all is in God’s hands. It made me think about how important the environment is when we are seeking to connect with God.

 We were then encouraged to make sure that we made the most of the opportunities for refreshment, building friendships and being challenged to learn. I have already had some fascinating conversations that remind me of how privileged we are and how people do so much with far more limited resources

Brackenhurst is at 2300m above sea level. So this counts as altitude training as I get used to coping with less oxygen (That’s my excuse for being breathless and I am sticking to it). The food is great – a good mix of English and local – I must be careful not to eat too much as we are largely inactive. The hardest part is breakfast at 7.30am (you know how much I love mornings!). If you want to know more you can check out their website

It has been great to stay in touch with people at home – what a different world we live in.