Musings

Apr 142019
 

Easter is upon us.  Once again the holiest season for Christians will vie for some space in that desire to grab the last warm holiday before winter. Seasons are a gift from God.  They are necessary.  They provide great metaphor for the ebbs and flows of life. Easter, in the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality sense, is part of God’s rhythm in our year. Today is Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday emerges out of the weeks of Lent.  Lent is the season of repentance, [continue reading…]

Apr 072019
 

So often we get complacent about praying for those around us who don’t know Jesus and I want to take this opportunity to encourage us all in this. Last Sunday, James Duff reminded us of the immense gift we have been given in the gospel. What a treasure, what a gift, what good news – good news that those around us desperately need! Certainly we need to take every opportunity to share this good news with people, but, as most [continue reading…]

Mar 312019
 

The Bible is shallow enough for a child not to drown, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim – St Augustine. The problem for most of us is that we stay in the shallows. That is what researcher, David Kinnaman, argues in a book called You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church. For Kinnaman it all boils down to this: The Christian church…has a shallow faith problem because we have a discipleship problem. Moreover, diagnosing and treating [continue reading…]

Mar 242019
 

Everything feels tricky at the moment.  Family is tricky, our leadership priorities at St Philips are tricky, the YouthCARE Chaplains’ Board is tricky, people in business say life is tricky, politics is really tricky.  Have you ever noticed how life can seem so tricky that you just want to get off?  I can be tempted to see it all as so complicated that I just think up ways to absolve myself and disappear out the back way. Just so NOT [continue reading…]

Mar 172019
 

After my sermon last Sunday, Jenni Hinspeter and I had a long conversation and a good pray around some of the particular issues that arise for us around the Sabbath as single people in vocational ministry. Later in the day, as I was driving home from something where I was the only single person, Brenda, who would often have been there, rang knowing that it is often a transition that I find difficult. It was one of those times when [continue reading…]

Mar 102019
 

Whew, what a week! I need a day off! When I feel like this I have frequently found that that day off has been very disappointing, just another chunk of wasted time rather than anything life-giving and restorative.  So what is Sabbath?  And what is the difference between Sabbath and just a day off? I’m bruised by Sabbath.  It happened to me in childhood.  When I was just a little chap there was a time when my parents decided we [continue reading…]

Mar 032019
 

At St Philips we are keen for everyone to be continually living more deeply in a three-dimensional life, individually and corporately, one where we are connecting UP with God, IN with each other and OUT with the world. I wonder how you see your OUT dimension going? Jesus came into the world, lived, died and rose again, that we might have a relationship with God – the ultimate act of self-giving and living OUT for others. He called disciples to [continue reading…]

Feb 242019
 

The average church experiences a drop-off rate for teenagers of 50-80% after they graduate from high school. This statistic emerged out of an in-depth analysis of Christian teenagers conducted by the fulleryouthinstitute.org. They also conducted an in-depth analysis of hundreds of churches that are ‘Growing Young’ (eg. doing a great job of discipling youth and young adults). Their research uncovered six core strategies that churches implemented that helped them reach young people for Jesus. Empower youth to lead. Empathise with [continue reading…]

Feb 172019
 

Place is important to many of us embodied creatures. This week I’ve been up to New Norcia for an overnight retreat by myself. It was a lovely time. . . stillness, rest, reading, prayer. It’s a quarterly rhythm that brings me renewed life and after a very full few months it was a much-needed couple of days. What struck me is the way in which I quickly went into the space of rest, prayer and reflection. Part of that is [continue reading…]

Feb 102019
 

You may have heard we are introducing a Code of Conduct for our youth and children’s ministry. Young people need, and like, clarity around things.  Sure, they push against clear boundaries but that is why they need them.  The older we get the less we like clear boundaries.  We know there is so much grey in life and in ‘the real world’ and we are suspicious of certainty.  We, sometimes rather smugly, ‘look to God’, rather than his desire that [continue reading…]