Archive for the 'Digital' Category


resist the devil – march 12

What have been the desert times in your life and how have you survived them?

I wonder what sort of temptations the devil would try on me. In Jesus’ case he connects with his desires for food, acceptance and power. Not much different to us then!

Jesus replies using his knowledge of scripture. What verses help you when you are facingf the temptation to give up?


Ash Wednesday – March 9

The King is coming

Reading: Matthew 1 & 2: Highlighted reading Matthew 1:18-25

Matthew wants his readers to know that this gospel is about God fulfilling his promises from long ago. At last the King is coming. But he comes not in a palace but to two ordinary people from an insignicant town. The story of the angels’ visit to Joseph is a reminder that God always seems to work through the insignificant. (Notice that there are 4 women in the geneaology and explore their history to see how God does this to show that this is the way of the kingdom). God placed his son into the care of a human family – who would care for him and love him as he grew into adulthood.

Think about your own family. Thank God for the care and love they showed you. Think also about the people who have been significant in nurturing your spiritual growth and thank God for them

Why not thank God for these people publicly by adding a comment to this post expressing your gratitude?

ACTION: send a note, a card, an e-mail or a text to them to express your thanks and let them know that their efforts were worthwhile.

QUESTIONS? What are you waiting for God to do for you? What in this reading encourages you to keep trusting God while you wait?


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


the illusion of intimacy

A really good article in the Sunday Times this week about friendship and facebook. I often joke that facebook redefines the meaning of the word friend but it seems that I might actually be backed up by some evidence.

On a regular basis the number 150 turns up as the genuine number of people one person can maintain meaningful contact with. I have heard this before from church growth people and in other contexts.

The best bit of the article is where it suggests that even then we are fooling ourselves. Real freindships take time and effort. The picture is of a range of ever decreasing circles where the people who you know and really know you is probably no bigger than 5

One of the challenges of communicating to a generation  of digital natives maybe that their search for intimacy on the internet leaves them with numerous superficial relationships, which take time to cultivate, but few, if any relatioships of real depth and meaning. Maybe what we need to be sure we are encouraging is depth.


Changing the way we think

As part of the work for my DMin I have been doing some thinking and reading about the impact of the digital world on the way that people think. I came across this cartoon that I have used in Scripture Union stuff recently.

Last week in the times there was an opinion prompted by the launch of the iPad. It’s well worth reading and the link is here. There is also a video that is worth watching. The quote has made me think most is this opne picking up the comparison between kayaks and dug out canoes. There is also a useful link to a website here

“We used to be kayak builders, collecting all available fragments of information,” writes Dyson. “Now, we have to learn to become dug-out canoe builders, discarding unnecessary information to reveal the shape of knowledge hidden within.”

So how will that impact the way we communicate the good news and what are the implications for Bible engagement?

In the Alps

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