2412, 2018

My New Year Resolution

By |December 24th, 2018|

My New Year Resolution We’re about to tick over into 2019. Can you believe it?! I wonder what 2019 will look like for our church. I wonder what it will look like for you and for me. Many of us are coming up with New Year’s resolutions this time of year, but I thought I would write about something a little different. Because most of us have been so busy doing that it might do us some good to stop doing for a little while and simply rest. So, rather than resolving to do something more this year, perhaps we can resolve to stop and do less – to rest! Rest is a very Biblical idea. God rested on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 2:2). Jesus invites us

2112, 2018

The Story Behind the Song: ‘Joy to the World’

By |December 21st, 2018|

The Story Behind the Song: ‘Joy to the World’ Last week we were reminded at Church that Jesus’ birth isn’t a Christmas addition to Gods word. Jesus was in the beginning and will be the ending! That is one of the reasons why I love the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the World’. It celebrates Christ’s second coming more than the first. The song is a joyous celebration of the sovereignty of God and the gift of Jesus. What I find wonderfully interesting is that the lyrics are based on a Psalm (rather than the gospel writings of Jesus’ birth). In 1719 English poet and clergyman, Isaac Watts, wrote the lyrics taking inspiration from Psalm 98:4-9. The lyrics point us to rejoice because of God’s faithfulness to His people, for

1412, 2018

Glory to God

By |December 14th, 2018|

Glory to God As the Christmas season gets into full swing, I’ve had a simple Christmas carol I grew up with, “Glory to God in the Highest”, stuck in my head. It’s easy to remember, in fact, it repeats the two lines sung by the angels celebrating the birth of Christ before the shepherds that first Christmas night. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” A simple declaration, but one which I’m coming to value more and more as a reminder to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. When we celebrate the birth of Jesus, giving glory to God is our first priority. Through all the wrapping and shopping and eating and greeting, let’s remember who we

712, 2018

Watching and Waiting

By |December 7th, 2018|

Watching and Waiting It felt like forever. In reality, it was closer to two hours. But my overwhelming excitement and anticipation at all that was to come seemed to distort my sense of time. We weren’t allowed to open our presents until our parents were awake, and we weren’t allowed to wake them until 6am. So, there we were, early on Christmas morning, sitting before the Christmas tree with the sun still hidden and the bounty of presents still nestled safely ensconced in wrapping paper. Watching and waiting. In many ways, my experience of Christmas as a child—watching and waiting—is exactly what the Christmas season is meant to stir in us as believers. A sense of expectation, anticipation, and longing. Not for presents under the tree, but for the

2911, 2018

What’s It All About?

By |November 29th, 2018|

What’s It All About? What is Christianity really all about? Is it a philosophy? A worldview? A moral system? A solution for our problems? A set of doctrines and beliefs? A religion? What is it really? I don’t know about you, but when I was first introduced to Christianity I remember hearing people tell me time and time again that Christianity is first and foremost a relationship. I think I heard it so many times that it almost became a cliché in my mind. It became something so basic to me that I found it a little trite, if I’m honest. In the end though, it turns out that I’m the basic one! Because time and time again, I find myself busy doing Christian things but forgetting that those

2311, 2018

Doing Good

By |November 23rd, 2018|

Doing Good Have you ever been called a “do-gooder”? I have. It doesn’t feel very nice. Although, when you think about it, it should. It should be a compliment. Doing ‘good’ is actually a positive thing. How can it not be? And as Christians we are called by God to do ‘good’ in this world. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Hebrews 13:16 says “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” The question is, what sort of ‘good’ should we be doing? Or more specifically, to whom should we be doing ‘good’? The answer of the Bible to this question

1511, 2018

Get Off the Rocking Chair

By |November 15th, 2018|

Get Off the Rocking Chair I’ll be honest with you all. This time of the year I feel like I am being pulled in every direction. There are end-of-year celebrations, Carols and Christmas services to plan for, family get togethers, work commitments, Christmas planning and gift buying—not to mention feeding the children who have bottom-less stomachs! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that all these things are wonderful blessings in my life. But there are moments when it can seem a little overwhelming. Jesus said, “…I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? …which of you by being anxious

911, 2018

Books I Enjoyed in 2018

By |November 9th, 2018|

Books I Enjoyed in 2018 Erasmus, a Dutch theologian from the 1500’s, reportedly said: “When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” Though I’m sure he was exaggerating, I’m not sure by how much. The truth is, I can relate (ask my poor wife). I love to read. And I love to read for many different reasons, not least of which because it is one way for me to learn from the knowledge and experience of other saints. Now, I know it’s not exactly the end of the year yet, but we’re getting close. So, I thought I would share with you a few of the most helpful and enjoyable books I have read this year (so